Odessa Animal Shelter Ups Their Health Game

Odessa Animal Shelter Ups Their Health Game

Anum Valliani

NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Odessa Animal Control has been the focus of a lot of negative attention lately. Over the past year, they've had to put down hundreds of dogs because of diseases.

"Honestly it's a disgrace that they've let this go on as long as it has," Holly Dool, who's a pet rescue for Citizens For the Animals of Midland/Odessa or C.A.M.O., said.

Dool takes dogs that can usually be found on a kill list somewhere in Texas or New Mexico, but she said she can't take dogs from Odessa anymore, because of the high rate of distemper.

Situations like that is one of the reasons the shelter is stepping up their health game. For new manager, Jacque Adimare, sometimes that means making the hard calls, like putting down pups that show signs of illness-even if they're set for rescue.

"I will never knowingly adopt out a sick animal. Whether they think they have a home and people who can spend as much money as they want on this animal. The problem is that this disease we have is contagious, highly contagious," she explained.

To battle that, workers have just started TPRing all dogs. That means upon entry, aside from getting their booster shots, all presumably adoptable dogs get their temperature, pulse and respiratory rates checked for fever, which is a good indicator for distemper.

"It's one of those things that we can really just nip really quick by checking that because they may not show any outward signs," Adimare said.

Plus the cleaning process is getting an upgrade. They'll stop draining anything but urine and start using a new heavy duty product that's able to kill bacteria-causing disease in two seconds.

Later on, there could be kennel renovations where Adimare wants to go from drab to fab - by replacing all the concrete.

Dool said the Odessa Shelter has a bad reputation on social media across the nation and Adimare feels the change in scenery will be a good way to alter that perception.

"But it's a process," Adimare said. "It's researching and getting the right things in so I'm not changing procedures every other week."

Still, the most important factor on her mind is focusing on the health of the shelter, "and then the face-lift comes later."

On top of everything else, the shelter will also be open the first Saturday of every month starting in September. That way they can help get the furry friends adopted out.

Officials said it's all part of mending relationships with rescues, and of course, saving lives.