Lubbock City Council hears from citizens regarding animal shelter

Lubbock City Council hears from citizens regarding animal shelter
More than a dozen people signed up to speak to council regarding the Lubbock Animal Shelter

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - One after another stepped up to the podium at Lubbock City Hall on Thursday. More than a dozen of people were ready to comment on the Lubbock Animal Shelter.

"I think the turnout was great. It looked like maybe half the people who were here tonight were here to support changes to the shelter," said Nicole Taylor.

Taylor said she attended the meeting to support the no-kill movement.

Some people attended to share concerns with the council.

"When I found out about the number of animals euthanized last year, I found it very disappointing. A long habit of thinking a thing wrong gives it tot he superficial appearance of being right," said one animal advocate.

Others signed up to speak to offer suggestions.

"There is a road map, You don't have to reinvent the wheel," said Lorri Michel.

Michel is the Board  President of an organization called Texas Pets Alive!.

"We are a 501C4 political lobbying organization," Michel said.

Michel and her team are dedicated to removing the political barriers at the state and local levels that prevent communities from becoming no-kill.

She is also one of the key players who worked to transform Austin into the largest no-kill city in the country.

Michel traveled to Lubbock to speak with Lubbock City Council about programs and tools that she believes will help the City of Lubbock follow in Austin's footsteps.

She suggested foster programs and widespread volunteer programs.

"Basic little things actually like publishing the kill list. Letting everybody in the community prioritize saving with the dogs and cats that are about to be killed. Those are the first ones that need to be out," Michel said.

A no-kill community is defined as killing less than ten percent of its animals.

It is something Michel said the leadership in Lubbock needs to aim for by setting up policies.

"Kill shelters for decades have been blaming the public. They have been calling pet owners irresponsible," she said. "That is one of the oldest, archaic M.O.'s of a kill shelter mantra."

With the current director of the animal shelter set to retire at the beginning of March, a nationwide search for his replacement is now underway.

It is a hire Michel said is critical.

"The biggest game changer from going from a kill shelter to a no-kill shelter is the shelter leadership. The choices the shelter director makes have a pivotal impact on whether animals live or die," Michel said.

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