Wichita Falls Animal Services Center renovations close to comple - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Wichita Falls Animal Services Center renovations close to complete

Source: KAUZ Source: KAUZ

A lot of people believe too many animals are being euthanized in Wichita Falls and the surrounding communities.
That is why the Animal Services Center in Wichita Falls began expanding their facility in February.
However, it remains full and construction is still going on.
The project passed by city council a year ago is a few weeks away from completion after numerous rain delays.
The end goal is to continue to decrease putting animals to sleep across Texoma.
    "It's giving the city of Wichita Falls and the citizens of our community better options when they're looking to adopt," Katrina Mitchell, the Animal Services Administrator of Wichita Falls, said.
That is one reason why Mitchell is eager for expansion construction to finish, hoping more animals can be put into the program and less put down.
    "We all have big hearts," Mitchell said. "We all love animals and want to save as many as we can. This is going to give us an opportunity to do so."
The renovated center is going to bring 18 new kennels and more jobs to the city.
Those jobs include hiring kennel staff and possibly an adoption coordinator.
Wichita Falls has an animal over-population problem.
Leslie Harrelson, the Executive Director of the P.E.T.S. Clinic, said there are two things that can be done.
    "The number one way you can prevent a litter is by spay and neutering," Harrelson said. "It prevents the birth of unwanted litters, who are then preventing unwanted euthanasia. The second aspect of any saving of life is adoption."
Since the Wichita Falls Center opened  in 2011, euthanization in Wichita Falls has dropped from 80 percent to 54 percent.
But Mitchell is hoping the expansion helps keep that trend.
Harrelson said that is only part of it.
    "If your having any litters, whether accidental of on purpose, you just took away homes from animals already here," Harrelson said. "And you just added to the problem. With Animal Services, the adoption center is going to provide more space and time. Hopefully it will be a beautiful place for people to go and feel good about adopting. We will start to change some minds because they are quality dogs and cats."
Harrelson tells Newschannel 6 that P.E.T.S. has been sending 30 to 35 animals a month to New York where they do not have an over-population problem.
She also wants people to understand a pet is not a gift, rather a lifetime commitment.
The total cost of the expansion project is just under $700,000.
The current holding time for strays will remains 30 days even after the improvements.

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