Montgomery County plans animal shelter study focused on easing overcrowding

Montgomery County plans animal shelter study focused on easing overcrowding

Montgomery County is planning a study of its animal shelter to determine how it will move forward with the existing facility or build a new one.

Commissioners agreed during a Dec. 13 meeting to add an assessment of the shelter to the county’s facilities master plan approved in March 2019. The study is being conducted by Houston-based PGAL Inc.

According to the proposal from PGAL, the study will assess the existing building’s current condition, potential for renovation and expansion. The study, the proposal states, will consider the current property and explore the option of a new location for a new building if needed for future growth.

The move comes after commissioners appointed County Judge Mark Keough in October to head up shelter operations and work with shelter Director Aaron Johnson and Assistant Director Mark Wysocki on revamping policy and procedures amid complaints about conditions at the aging facility.

Built in 2002, the 152,469-square-foot facility at 8535 Texas 242 has been plagued by continued repairs including its heating and air conditioning, ventilation and incinerator since 2015.

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The shelter has 180 kennels for medium to large dogs, however, Wysocki said the facility is chronically overcrowded and now has almost 300 dogs who need homes. 

Johnson has continued to pitch the need for a new shelter. During the county’s budget workshops in 2021 and 2022, the court discussed the facility but said no funding was available.

While a larger facility could be warranted, Keough said his focus was a plan to increase the live release of animals to new homes, rescue groups and foster homes.

“If we don’t increase our ability to release them, all a new shelter will do is create more space to house more animals and we will continue to be overcrowded only now at a greater rate,” Keough said. “PGAL is going to help us figure this out and I’m very excited to work with them.”

Wysocki said the study is critical to the future of the shelter.

“We are happy the county is formally looking at the facility and the future needs of the shelter,” Wysocki said.

PGAL has enlisted consultant Colorado-based Animal Arts on solutions for the shelter. Animal Arts specializes in animal care facility architecture and design including veterinary, shelter, dog daycare, training and veterinary teaching hospitals.

The study is expected to take about 90 days.


Montgomery County plans animal shelter study focused on easing overcrowding

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