By Betsy Dolan
Missouri City’s new and much-improved animal shelter opened under the radar two months ago, but the facility has already logged a few adoptions and is getting ready for a public open house on September 23 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The new fully-enclosed, climate-controlled facility is designed to not only improve the comfort and adoptability of the animals inside but to provide a more welcoming environment for people hoping to adopt a shelter pet. It is also larger with room for more than 30 dogs and 12 cats, as opposed to 16 animals total at the old facility.
The shelter also features more windows, restrooms, a life room where families can spend time with prospective pets, a quarantine area, an administrative area and an outside area for the dogs. The shelter’s new location, just off Scanlin Road in the Missouri City Hall complex, brings much improved visibility as well.
“The old shelter was tucked back from the road and we’d have to go outside and flag people down who were driving around trying to find the shelter,” said Juan Acevedo, Missouri City’s Animal Control Supervisor. “Now residents will be able to find us easily.”
Acevedo says the larger building will mean a volunteer program can be established for the first time. Volunteers will help facilitate adoptions and handle administrative tasks at the shelter.
Since 1987, Stafford has had an inter local agreement with Missouri City to use 25% of the facility. The City of Stafford contributed $166,790 of the $700,000 cost of the new shelter. Stafford also pays a monthly fee which goes toward the maintenance of the building and the care of the animals that Stafford impounds. The rest of the $524,821 shelter tab was budgeted in Missouri City’s Capital Improvement Program.
The new shelter will have the same staffing levels as the previous shelter which includes one supervisor, two animal control officers from Missouri City, and one from Stafford.
The city estimates the new shelter will be able to house 900 dogs and 300 cats every year.