City of Midland’s animal shelter deals with shortage of employees

City of Midland's animal shelter deals with shortage of employees

A shortage of employees at the new Midland Animal Shelter has impacted operations at the east Midland facility.

Animals Services Director Ty Coleman told the Midland City Council on Tuesday that having three times the space in the newer building has created issues with the number of “kennel techs,” and that has impacted the amount of work that can be done in the field and the number of hours the facility can be open.

He said hours were adjusted so employees could spend more time on cleaning the facility as there are issues with distemper, a contagious and serious disease caused by a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems of puppies and dogs. Coleman said the disease problems aren’t exclusive to Midland as he is hearing reports of distemper in Abilene and across Dallas-Fort Worth facilities.

In the previous facility, there were 67 dog cages and 44 cat cages. Animal Services reported 88 dog runs (can double to 176 with proper staffing) and 37 mobile cages. There are also 63 cat cages.

“We currently have six kennel tech positions,” an Animal Services report stated. “According to Humane Educators of Texas, a facility this size should 10 to 12 kennel techs.”

Proper staffing isn’t necessarily a salary issue, according to Coleman. He said some “animal care specialists” can’t handle the euthanasia that is part of city-run animal shelter. Current Animal Service staff vacancies also include two full-time Animal Services officers, an Animal Services veterinarian and a records specialist.

“Less people reduces quality of care,” Coleman said. 

Animal Shelter metrics

Shelter metrics include 4,285 “intakes” this year. That projects to a total of 6,363 for the year, which would be comparable to the 6,312 in 2021. Intakes reached 7,750 as recently as 2019.

Of the intakes this year, 65% are considered “strays” and 22% are owner surrendered. The largest percentage of animals came from District 2 (28%). District 4 (19%) was second, followed by the county (16%).

The city reported a “save rate” of 58%, the best percentage going back to at least 2017. The next best rate during that time was 46% in 2021.

Animal bite reports year-to-date is 478. From 2017-2021, the most animal bites reported was 648 in 2019.

Animal Services successes

Coleman reported that a “low-cost drive-thru vaccine clinic” served more than 250 cars with each vehicle averaging two animals. He also stated that adoption events took place July 23 and Sept. 10 with 55 total adoptions taking place.

He added that volunteer orientation will now be held on the second Saturday of each month.

Animal Services also is working on raising the money needed for a transport vehicle ($150,000) and trailer.

Events coming up include:

  • Barktoberfest from 10 a.m. to 1p.m. on Oct. 29,
  • A low-cost clinic from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Nov. 19,
  • Happy Hawlidays Christmas open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 10
  • The “Rescue Runners” monthly program is set to begin Jan. 7. That will allow people to come to the shelter and take a pet for a run around the area.

Shelter intakes

Stray 65%

Owner surrender 22%

Disp/enthanasia required 7%

Confiscated 3%

Born at shelter 3%


Shelter intakes by jurisdiction

District 2 28%

District 4 19%

County 16%

District 3 15%

Unknown 12%

District 1 10%


Shelter intakes by year

2017: 6,308

2018: 7,007

2019: 7,750

2020: 5,834

2021: 6,312

2022: 6,363 (projected)


Save rate

2017: 43%

2018: 44%

2019: 36%

2020: 45%

2021: 46%

2022: 58% 


Dog bites reported

2017: 615

2018: 621

2019: 648

2020: 543

2021: 599

2022: 478


Rendering of the Volunteer Animal Enrichment/Exercise

City of Midland


Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Closed: Sunday and Monday



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City of Midland’s animal shelter deals with shortage of employees

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