City of Terrell, Texas


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Mayor Hal Richards

Q. - I'm new to Texas, originally from Florida. One of the things I've noticed is how many stray dogs roam the streets... it's really heartbreaking. I've never seen so many homeless animals. I was so happy to hear Terrell Shelter was a no kill facility, but also sad to hear it can only house 8-10 dogs and is currently housing 30 dogs!!! I think the city needs to fund the animal shelter better and bring awareness to the problem of animal overpopulation. Maybe the city can host a pet Expo or do a semiannual fund raiser event to make Terrell an animal friendly city. Seeing 2-3 strays a week is very depressing and perhaps not good for the image of Terrell. "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals."

Answer - Thanks for your inquiry.


I have never seen any program turned around as fast and as dramatically as the Terrell Animal Control program. This has been an amazing example of leadership and vision by Terrell Police Chief and his dedicated staff in Animal Control.

The information you have about the capacity is incorrect. We have 16 primary kennels. Also, there are two temporary holding kennels that serve as a 24-48 hour observation area for newly arrived animals. Depending upon the size and social behavior of the dog, each kennel can hold up to three dogs. Under normal conditions, we can comfortably house 16 to 30 dogs. We occasionally have a “vicious” animal that must be separated. We typically hold and observe these animals for 10 days. It does not take many of these to put us in a bind for space.


Although we strive to be a “no-kill” facility, the reality is that a public facility like ours sometimes must euthanize animals. If we receive an animal that is dangerous, vicious, severely sick, or severely injured, putting the animal down is the only possible choice.


So, just for clarity, adoption for each animal is our goal, but reality sometimes dictates otherwise. Our “save rate” has been hovering at above 80% since we changed our philosophy and focus. We are not 100% no kill, but it is the “horizon” goal we strive for at the shelter.


A local citizens group, formed in 2012 to support the efforts of the shelter, is raising funds to build a separate adoption facility that is family friendly, designed to accommodate the adoption process and certainly be better for the animals.


Until that time comes, we are making the very best of our current shelter, which was built 30 years ago when the model for public shelters was not focused on adoption.


The estimated construction cost for a new facility, excluding land acquisition, is around $50,000.00. They have raised 40% of the required funds for the construction costs of a new facility.


Conditions at the Terrell Adoption Center continue to improve, greatly due to the efforts of our great staff and our fantastic volunteers.


Until we, as a community, expect and insist that people in and around Terrell accept responsibility for animals in their care, we will continue to experience the consequences of stray animals: unpleasantness for citizens, cost to taxpayers, and misery for animals.


What can you do? You can become part of the solution by becoming a volunteer. Contact Cilla Wichman, Animal Adoption Coordinator, at 972-551-6641.


“No one can do everything. Everyone can do something.”




Hal Richards, Mayor




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City of Terrell Logo - Building a Better Community
City of Terrell
201 East Nash St.
P.O. Box 310

Terrell, Texas 75160
Metro: 972-524-3332
After Hours Repair Services: 469-474-2700
Fax: 972-551-6682



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