Group: Health, safety improvements should be built in new animal shelter

Group: Health, safety improvements should be built in new animal shelter

LONGVIEW (KYTX) - Longview's Animal Shelter Advisory Committee made 11 recommendations for improvements at the city's only animal shelter, but the group believes many of those changes would have to occur with construction of a new shelter.

The recommendations were made public Monday evening when committee members met at the Longview Development Services Building. They stem from the committee's Dec. 9 inspection of the Humane Society of Northeast Texas' existing shelter on Enterprise Street.

City and Gregg County leaders, volunteers and leadership from the Humane Society of Northeast Texas are planning a new shelter to replace the Humane Society's existing shelter on Enterprise Street, which is several decades old. The existing shelter is less than 7,000 square feet, while city engineers are drawing up plans for a facility of at least 20,000 square feet.

Plans for a new shelter have not been finally approved by the City Council. Development Services Director Kevin Cummings says a public hearing will be held before council members consider the plans, and that hearing could be as early as March or as late as May.

Among the committee's recommendations for the new shelter were:
*That it is structurally sound to protect animals from injury, contain them and prevent transmission of diseases;
*That it provide appropriate methods and space for employees to wash and sanititize their hands after working in the quarantine areas;
*That it have a dedicated quarantine area physically separate from the adoptions area and with separate ventilation systems;
*That it provide for sufficient lighting;
*That it have a completely segregated areas for employees to break and eat, since the current shelter's kitchen is used both as an employee break room and an animal intake area;
*That it have building surfaces constructed of nonabsorbent, hard, durable and easily cleanable materials that can be readily sanitized;
*That the floors be constructed of terrazzo, epoxy, quarry tile with epoxy grout or similar durable, nonabsorbent material;
*That it have sufficient primary animal enclosures that are impervious to moisture and readily sanitized;
*That the new facility provide for the current intake at the existing shelter plus ten percent to plan for increased intake in the future, with enclosures containing only one animal and suitable arrangements for all animals that could be potentially housed at the shelter, including different livestock species; and,
*That it have enclosures with walls that are a minimum six feet tall and made of hard, durable, easily cleanable materials.


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