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 Jody Lay 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
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