A NewsChannel 11 Investigation two weeks ago has created concern at city hall. Lubbock City Council says a new animal shelter is not going to fix problems like people not answering the phone.
Council members tossed up some solutions for what they called a "looseness in policy" at the Lubbock Animal Shelter. Councilman John Leonard brought some complaints he had received from people about how some staff members were rude to them. Other complaints accuse staff of telling the public inconsistent information about how to adopt animals.
Leonard says it sounds like a communication breakdown and that management, at some level, is to blame for all this. "It seems like we are having problems with the shelter. We either read about it in the paper or see it on the television. This is not the way we need to be handling issues like this," said Leonard.
Two weeks ago, we told you how a family made several attempts to rescue a dog at the animal shelter. They say they left messages that were never returned and the dog was euthanized. It was later discovered the employee they had called had 306 unchecked messages on her phone. Two employees were subsequently fired.
Councilman Todd Klein commended shelter Director Kevin Overstreet for correcting the problem, but asked if the problems are a result of being understaffed. Overstreet says he's working with what he has as best he can. Mayor Tom Martin made a suggestion that maybe the shelter needs to fall under the police department. That's something they are considering.
Right now, everyone is going to figure out how the shelter can operate better, make sure phone calls are returned, and that staff tells the public consistent information about adoptions.
A new shelter is still in the works. During executive session Thursday, they were still discussing a place to put it, which has been one main reason why a new shelter hasn't been built yet.
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