A lifeline may be on the way for homeless dogs and cats, thanks to county officials and advocates who have been pushing assertively for an adoption-friendly Animal Control facility.
Magee Architects in Fort Worth has been asked by the Hood County Commissioners Court to develop a cost analysis for a new Animal Control facility that would be built in a location more convenient to the public than the current remote site off of Coke Court. In addition to a change in location, plans are for the bigger building to offer more comfortable, sanitary conditions.
Company representative Alan Magee gave a presentation to the Commissioners Court at its regular meeting Tuesday, showing slides of a variety of buildings designed by the firm. Some of those buildings include the Azle Public Library, the Mansfield Public Safety building and the Crowley Justice Center.
A number of citizens attended the meeting to hear the discussion about Animal Control. Sgt. Charles Monroe of the Sheriff’s Office told commissioners that Animal Control had taken in 25 animals – 10 dogs and 15 cats – on Monday. Animal Control falls under the umbrella of the Sheriff’s Office.
“Two-thirds of the county doesn’t even know where we’re at,” Monroe said, referring to the current facility’s out-of-the-way location.
County Judge Darrell Cockerham said Wednesday that county officials have met with Magee “several times” in preparation for building a larger facility to handle the growing county’s problem with homeless and abandoned animals. Cockerham said the current site “is totally inadequate.”
The judge said that the Commissioners Court does not yet know where the money will come from to build the new facility, but said the county may fund it through bonds. He said that, unlike the proposed $10 million recreation center that is on the Nov. 6 ballot, the Animal Control building likely would not require a bond election because it would be much smaller and less costly than the rec center.
Cockerham said the new, improved Animal Control is expected to be built on county-owned property on Highway 51, not far from the square. A more visible and easily-accessible location likely would result in more animal adoptions, he and other county officials have said.
Though Magee presented a rendering of what Hood County’s new Animal Control facility might look like, Cockerham said that a number of details must be worked out and changes might be made to the rendering.
“No decisions have been made,” he said.
Cockerham said that he expects to hear back from Magee probably within the next two or three weeks. He noted the importance of the volunteers who have worked to make a more humane shelter a reality.
“We have a lot of folks who donate their time, and they realize that that’s just a totally inadequate facility we have out there,” he said.
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