LONGVIEW/GREGG COUNTY (KYTX) - Tonight, the Humane Society of Northeast Texas animal shelter is at capacity. There are more than 160 dogs and cats in this building that is less than 6,000 square feet.
Right across town, the Longview City Council voted unanimously to follow recommendations from its 2012-2013 task force 'Save the Animals' to build a minimum 20-thousand-square-foot facility that can hold at least 186 animals.
The Humane Society of Northeast Texas shelter is more than 20 animals over capacity. Workers at the shelter say the building is too small to serve Longview and Gregg County.
Save the Animals agreed.
"I feel like we need a bigger facility," said Valerie Mills, intake director at the Humane Society of Northeast Texas Animal Shelter. "This one is old and rundown. We don't have as much space as we need to hold all of the animals we bring in."
Estimates for a new shelter have ranged between $2 million and $8 million dollars. Nothing has been finally decided, including who would run it -- or how to pay for it. Whether the city would rely on its more than two-million dollars in general fund savings to build a shelter -- or call for a bond election.
Alvina Graves doesn't own a pet, but she wants the pet population controlled.
"It's very needed," Graves said. "There's lots of stray dogs that need a home instead of having to be put to sleep or stay out on the road or be hungry. So I would be for tax money doing that."