Temple Animal Shelter

Chapo, a grumpy but lovable cat, was one of the pets available for adoption at the Temple Animal Shelter.

Temple’s furry residents will soon have more room to play and live as the city has hired a Waco-based engineering firm to help expand it animal shelter.

Engineering services provided by RBDR Architects to expand the shelter was unanimously approved by the City Council during its meeting last week. The services will cost the city about $166,250, and will make many improvements to the structure.

City officials said the improvements to the existing shelter, located at 620 Mama Dog Circle, will take about five months to complete with construction following after.

Amy Struck, animal services coordinator for the city, said the expansion of the facility would help both lost and stray animals in the city.

“This expansion will give the increasing number of stray and lost animals an opportunity to find a new home comfortably,” Struck said. “The project includes additional space for kennels, cages, and a public lobby for viewings and adoptions.”

In recent years, as Temple’s population has grown, the animal shelter has had trouble housing all of its animals at times.

Expansion of the Temple shelter was previously planned to be a part of the city’s proposed public safety bond, but is now being funded by debt issued through certificate of obligation bonds.

In its fiscal year 2022 budget, the city budgeted an estimated $2.5 million for the construction of the shelter’s improvements. Officials estimate improvements to the shelter will take about nine months to complete once started.

One of the main improvements to the shelter will be the addition of additional kennel space, mainly for dogs, along with an outdoor meet and greet area for residents looking to adopt.

Other improvements the city is looking to add include adding an heating and air-conditioning system to the dog kennel area and putting an intake and storage area in the back of the facility. Creating a new entrance to the facility and adjusting the facility’s layout to work better are also included in the project.

The Temple shelter is a limited no-kill facility, with it normally being able to only hold about 34 dogs and 22 cats at any one time. Officials previously said about 25 percent of animals taken in by the shelter in 2019 were put down, mainly due to health issues, injuries or overly aggressive tendencies.

Strunk said last year that the main issues the shelter sees locally are related to the over population of pets in the city.

“One of our main concerns is the growth of the animal population, not only of stray animals, but of those that are over bred,” Strunk said. “Although we do everything in our power to ensure that every animal receives the proper care and attention it needs, resources are very limited. We urge our residents to take every effort to spay or neuter their pets in order to help control the growing number of stray animals.”