City of Lufkin Animal Services increases intake fees for out-of-city-limits requests
LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - The City of Lufkin Animal Services reports that they have been dealing with thousands of animal intakes. Now, they are taking steps to get it under control.
According to the City, part of the issue is taking in animals from outside Lufkin city limits.
According to the City of Lufkin attorney Kristi Skillern, the shelter took in 3,700 animals in 2022, and 40% of intakes were from Angelina County.
”There’s just too many animals, even for the residents we have here in Lufkin,” she said.
“I mean, the cost of inflation is real, and we’re feeling the effects of it too,” said the shelter’s programs and rescue coordinator, Leslie Montes.
Montes said the shelter spends nearly $170 for every animal, not including boarding and medications.
Skillern explained interlocal agreements are updated for Hudson, Huntington, Angelina County, and Diboll to take in their animals for an increased fee.
Montes explained the new fees will help provide for the shelter, but they still depend on volunteers to foster animals.
In prior years, Skillern said cities paid between $15 to $20 for every drop-off.
“We had to balance our cost, as well the cost for all these other cities and wanting to get these animals here to our shelter and adopted rather than running around on the street,” said Skillern.
“We saw it coming. We completely understand. It’s not the citizens of Lufkin’s job to subsidize animal control for everyone else in the county,” said Diboll’s city manager, Jason Arnold.
According to Arnold, the City of Diboll gets daily calls for strays and drops off at least ten animals monthly in Lufkin.
“Animal control is a little different. In respect, I don’t know if we can be aggressive enough to help the problem,” he said.
Arnold said the City of Diboll used to pay $17 per animal drop-off, and he says it was a financial hit for them even then.
“We’re going to have to find money somewhere else. What that means is we’re going to have to take money from other areas of the city that we would’ve liked to spend on other areas,” he said.
Arnold explained it can take multiple departments and days to capture one animal, depending on the situation.
“It’s a major tax on resources, including manpower, money,” he said.
Arnold said it would take a community effort to resolve the problem.
“Until there is a really deliberate, a really conscious effort on pet owners to do what they need to do, this isn’t a problem that’s going to get better,” he said.
Anyone interested in adopting, the Kurth Animal Shelter is offering a special of $20 adoptions until Oct. 31.
Copyright 2023 KTRE. All rights reserved.