New Animal Shelter in Big Spring

By Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

It's always sad to see stray dogs and cats wandering around the streets, and the problem has gotten worse in Big Spring. 

This summer, the city began construction on a $45,000 animal shelter almost three times as big as the one they have now. 

Not only will it help out the people who patrol the streets every day, but city leaders say it will also be a more humane way of dealing with the animals.

"It's overpopulated. It gets full very quickly," Jose Enriquez with Big Spring Animal Control, said.

The Big Spring Animal Shelter looks and sounds a lot like "Lady and the Tramp."

But for most of the animals, this story doesn't have a happy ending.

"Most of the time, it's the owner not present to control their animal," Enriquez said.

The three Big Spring wardens get about 80 calls each month on stray dogs and because it's overcrowded they have to euthanize most of the lost and abandoned pets if they're not claimed within three days to a week.

"As far as our pickup on stray or loose animals, it's pretty much city-wide," Chief Lonnie Smith with the Big Spring Police Department, said. "Anywhere in a residential neighborhood, we're prone to pick up a loose dog or loose cats anywhere."

But the city has decided to create a happy ending, they're building a bigger shelter.

"It's going to be great," Enriquez said. "It's going to be helpful for all these dogs that we receive."

The current Big Spring Animal Shelter was built back in the early 80's with 12 pens where, the wardens tell us, some of the animals are having to double up in space. But the new animal shelter will have 44 pens, allowing them more space to run around and a longer time to find a new home.

"We look at it as an adoption center," Enriquez said. "Open for the public to come in and view the dogs at their convenience, at their leisure time and feel comfortable that the facility is going to be running good, clean, and able to be hands-on, where as the shelter here is more confined for quarantines."

A little extra hope, not just for the dogs and cats, but also for the ones who take care of them.

"Here, the shelter when they build it, it will control that overpopulation, keep it even, where we can reduce the euthanasion status down to a minimum and set our goals high and have a good rate of adoption for Big Spring," Enriquez said.