by Nick Lawton
FORT STOCKTON - The state told Fort Stockton that it was time to make some changes to their animal shelter or they would fail their next state inspection or they would fail to pass state inspection, so city leaders made a big decision.
The animals may be as cute as can be, but it's their facility that's receiving low marks from the state.
Earlier this month, Fort Stockton's animal shelter was declared outdated and the city was told by the state to make some drastic changes to it.
So two weeks ago, Fort Stockton went one step ahead, approving a site for a brand-new shelter.
"It's not a bad building," Animal Control Officer Joe Armstrong, said. "I mean, it's just that time that Fort Stockton's ready to build one. It's a long-time coming."
Fort Stockton Animal Control told NewsWest 9 that the water at the existing structure isn't drinkable and that they have to bring water in from the city, but they say the animals have the bigger problems.
The current building is too small and in a bad location, out by the landfill.
But the new site has been approved, and now sits right in town, near the Pecos Highway by the Sheriff's office and civic center.
Armstrong says from there, people will have better access to the animals.
"It gives the animal a better chance at being adopted. And a better chance of getting a good home," Armstrong said.
The city's clean water will pump into the new building and it'll be bigger and better for each individual animal.
One local veterinarian says that's the way to really improve their care.
"They're gonna have more individualized care," Fort Stockton Veterinarian, Melissa Miller, said. "Not be a group setting, so to speak, which was all that we had before. That's gonna help be able to care for them better."
The creation of this new shelter is not only viewed as a plus for the community, but as a new chance for homeless pets.
"It's a win-win situation for the city of Fort Stockton," Armstrong said. "It'll be something that they can be proud of, and it's for the animal also. The animal deserves better."
Fort Stockton City Manager Doug May says the estimated $300,000 to $400,000 needed to build the new shelter will come from the budget for Capital Improvement Plan.
He hopes to have the building up next April.