New building sought for Longview animal shelter

LONGVIEW (KTRE) - A Longview animal shelter is in desperate need of a new building.  The Humane Society of East Texas shelter says its had a near record year of taking in stray and abandoned cats and dogs,  animals that will suffer a sad fate if not adopted.

On average, just short of a thousand dogs and cats are brought into the Humane Society of Northeast Texas in Longview.  Strayed or abandoned, they fill the shelter over capacity.

"Most people are very shocked to find out that last year we got over 11,500 animals in our shelter." said shelter director Roxanne Hutson.  The numbers are staggering.  In 2007 more than 11,000 animals were housed, 594 were returned to their owners, 1,422 were adopted, and more than 9,000 were euthanized.

"I was kind of shocked about it, that there was that many of them for this area," said Kilgore dog owner Darryl Foster.

"Our euthanasia rate hovers between 75 and 80% each month," said Hutson.  "It's a tragedy due to the pet overpopulation problem that exists in East Texas.  The Enterprise Street facility is no longer adequate to take in all the animals they get every year, sadly only one in every 10 animals gets adopted.  Hutson is working on a campaign to raise $6 million for a new facility on H.G. Mosley that could house and care for more animals.

"A larger shelter will allow us to hold animals a little bit longer, and it's also going to have a veterinary clinic inside the facility that will also do spaying and neutering."  The shelter has already taken in more than 5,000 animals so far this year.  If you would like to help, call the Humane Society of Northeast Texas at 903-297-2170.