Funding Finalized for New Denton Animal Shelter

Construction expected to start this summer

Denton City Council says they've found the funding necessary to take bids on a new animal shelter.

The council announced Tuesday they had found two possible funding sources that can be set aside as “worst-case scenario” money for the proposed shelter.

The entire project to build a new animal shelter is priced at about $7 million with about $2 million of that coming from money raised by the Denton Animal Shelter Foundation.

In-kind donations to the shelter total about $500,000 in items that include furniture and other goods that can’t be counted toward the shelter’s available funding until it is built. Denton County Police Captain Scott Fletcher says that under state law an alternate funding source has to be provided to cover that cost before any contracts can be processed.

The city reports having two other projects that are running at least $500,000 under budget – money the council says can be set aside for the shelter.

"The funding from their side includes school children saving pennies and stuff in a classroom,” Fletcher said. “There was one, a special needs class that went out and baked dog treats and sold them. It's not just another city building an animal shelter; it's a community coming alive to say, 'we think this is really important.'"

Animal Services Supervisor Woodie Wilson says the project is long overdue. Wilson says the shelter has been positioned in a building behind the county jail for decades and is in severe need of space.

"We have 35 cages for dogs and like 18 for cats,” Fletcher said. “That's going to pretty much quadruple."

The new facility will be on a fairly wide open green space across from the University of North Texas’s Discovery Park. 

The city broke ground there last September and will begin taking bids soon to award a builders contract in hopes of a July 2013 start date.

"We're going to be able to have an on-site vet clinic at the facility, more room, a lot easier access,” Wilson said.

The project is expected to take about a year to a year and a half to be complete. 

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