POSTED: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 5:36pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 6:21pm
Tyler TX — As of 2007 the people in Smith County no longer had a local shelter to bring stray or unwanted animals.
Bob Gardner from Tyler Animal Control said, "Cherokee County had a shelter, Klein Animal Shelter that was basically built for animals in the Jacksonville area, and parts of Cherokee County and they graciously opened up and allowed us to bring animals there."
Tyler Animal Control and SPCA of East Texas agree, that the Klein Animal Shelter is understaffed and overloaded, with animals. Many think Smith County needs a shelter of its own.
Deborah Dobbs, president of the SPCA of East Texas said, "That's where your good quality animals get another chance at a forever home, so unless you want to euthanize everything you've got to have a place to adopt them out and that's what Tyler is missing."
Tonya Griffith agrees that spay and neutering is vital to prevent unwanted strays.
She started her own animal rescue in East Texas when dogs like "Skyler" were being dumped on her street regularly.
She said, "Even when animal control had the humane society to take the animals to there was still an overpopulation problem."
She also said she thinks that by having a low cost spay and neuter program, the number of "dumped animals" would decrease. Dobbs tells KETK that they have received a grant to spay and neuter 1,400 dogs at a low cost over the next two years.
We asked police Chief Gary Swindle, who is Manager of Public Safety for the projects, when a shelter would ever be built.
He said, "The city is working very closely with the SPCA of East Texas to come up with a solution to where we can have our own facility here in Tyler."
Dobbs said, "We have a piece of land now so we have a site, it's a great site, its accessible to all of the community in South Tyler." She said it is now up to the community to help raise the money. They have an architect out of Houston drawing up the plans which should be done in the next forty-five days. She said that, hopefully by the end of the year the SPCA will be able to present to the community just how much money is needed to built the shelter facility. She also told us that people can either donate or help raise money through their program at the SPCA of East Texas.