City contract stalls animals from moving into new shelter - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

City contract stalls animals from moving into new shelter

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

The new animal shelter finally opened after years of complaints that the old one was unsuitable for animals. It's been open for months, so why is the old one still taking animals?

The City of Lubbock says it all comes down to having the proper care for sick cats and dogs.

"Currently there is a vet that covers the old shelter, but not the new shelter," said City of Lubbock Public Information Manager Jeff McKito.

Jeff Mckito says the city has to renew their veterinarian contract, something they haven't done in 15 years. He says it didn't include enough money for the vet to work at both facilities. In anticipation for the budget increase, the city already planned for additional expenditures. The veterinarian will receive $32,520 to perform services like rabies vaccinations, almost double what was paid before.

"That way we will be able to work a clinics at both sites," said McKito.

Without a veterinarian staffed at the new shelter, they can only bring in healthy animals. That means the sick animals have to go to the old shelter where they can be cared for or disease can potentially be spread.

"Anytime you have a sick animal in the same area there is a well animal, there is a chance that well animal could contract that disease. One of the issues we had in the past at the old shelter," said McKito.

To prevent airborne disease and contamination, the new shelter makes sure people visit the adoption area first before they go into the stray area. They also installed a filtration system and a flushing system to clean out each cage.

Currently the old shelter has close to 100 animals, both cats and dogs. The new shelter has dozens and people seem to be responding.

"The adoption rates are doing really great. We are averaging around 13 animals a week," said McKito.

When the shelter does get a vet, they still have other kinks to work out.

"The address we were getting from building inspection, the post office and 911 said that number wouldn't work for them. When you Googled the address it would take you to somewhere near Quaker. So that means we are changing that address on letterhead, on the city website and all these different areas so we have the uniform correct address," said McKito.

The city still has no timeline as to when they will close the old shelter. The city council will bring up the veterinarian contract issue at their next meeting Thursday.

For more information on the animal shelter adoptions and volunteer opportunities click here.

Copyright 2011.  KCBD NewsChannel 11.

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