May 14, 2012
Great news for the Collin County shelter animals! Frisco City Councilman, Bob Allen, is taking the lead for positive shelter change. We need more elected officials like Councilman Allen to take the lead in their communities! Nice work by all the volunteers working hard to save the shelter animals in their community! Please show your support for Councilman Allen’s shelter resolution challenge.
PRESS RELEASE FROM COLLIN COUNTY ANIMAL AWARENESS:
CONTACT: PAT SNOW, SHARYL TERHALL
May 13, 2012
WONDERFUL NEWS FROM FRISCO!
Frisco City Councilman Bob Allen presents shelter resolution challenge
History: Collin County Animal Services (CCAS), a 3.5 million dollar animal shelter, opened its doors July 5th, 2006, in McKinney. Nestled behind the new Collin County Courthouse and in between Juvenal Detention and the Adult Minimum Security Prison, this state of the art facility was designed to assume animal control duties from the SPCA of Texas. CCAS was an animal stray hold facility at conception, with the plan being that all adoptable animals would be transferred from CCAS to the SPCA facility for adoption if not reclaimed by owners after a 7-day stray hold.
No adoptable animals were to be killed, that was the plan.
CCAS shelter services all unincorporated areas of Collin County as well as the towns of: Anna, Celina, Fairview, Lavon, Lowry Crossing, Lucas, Melissa, Nevada, New Hope, Princeton, Prosper, McKinney, Frisco and Farmersville.
Less than a year later, it became apparent that the SPCA did not have room for the high influx of animals coming in from all over the rapidly growing county. The original plan of not killing adoptable animals was not achieved due to lack of space at CCAS and animals were euthanized on a regular basis to make room for more.
In spite of the fact that the original plan was not working, no changes were made until three years later, in 2009, when Collin County Animal Shelter began to allow adoptions.
Flash forward to the past fiscal year in review, from October 2010 to September 2011, CCAS took in 5653 puppies, dogs, kittens and cats:
- 9% were adopted by the public
- 20% were redeemed by their owners
- 54% went to Non-Profit Rescue Groups
- 19% were killed
- 1% Died in their cages
A 19% euthanasia rate is one of the lowest of all county and city facilities in the North Texas area. Much of the burden of achieving this rate has fallen to shelter volunteers who help staff the facility during adoption hours, volunteers who network the animals to the public and rescue groups and to the non-profit rescue groups that take the animals in. However, a 9% adoption rate left quite a bit of room for improvement and presented a huge challenge for a facility that was built and staffed to function only as a stray hold facility.
Many positive changes have been implemented at CCAS since last September via increased support and volunteer efforts, as well as increased weekend hours. The shelter has almost stopped killing adoptable animals for space. However, with no formal marketing and public outreach programs in place and remaining much needed programs and improvements, the shelter remains overcrowded to the point of chronic urgency. Dogs sit in the shelter for as long as a month waiting for an adoption or rescue group. Rescue groups are consistently full and adoptions remain low due to the public still not being aware of the shelter by in large. The cats are most unfortunate because the air systems and circulation systems do not work effectively, thus, upper respiratory still runs rampant amongst the cats and they are killed for sickness unless a rescue group helps them.
Let’s take a look at Collin County stats courtesy of http://www.co.collin.tx.us/index.jsp and you will quickly wonder what the excuse is for this shelter?
Here’s a demographic snapshot of the northern most county in the Dallas Metroplex:
- County Seat: McKinney
- Area: 848 sq. miles of land; 38 sq. miles of water
- Towns and Cities: 27
- Estimated Population (2009): 791,631
- 50/50 population split of males to females
- Median age: 33.7 years
- Under 18 years old: 1 in 4 residents
- Over 65 years of age: 6%
- Number of households: 246,000
- Average number per household: 2.8
- Number of families: 72% of households
- Traditional married couple families: 80% of family households
- Number of adults living alone: 57,000
- Average Wage per Job (2004): $42,736
- Median Household Income: (2004) $75,709
- New residents moving in each day (2009): 74
- Density: 580 people/sq. mile
- Paved County Roads: 726 miles
- Average Taxable Home Value: $233,000
- County Tax Rate (2009): $0.24 per $100 assessed value
- Independent School Districts: 21
- Special Districts: 2
- Hospital Districts: None
- County-level Elected Officials: 35
- Registered Voters (2010): 424,548
- Voter Turnout (November 2010): 37.1%
The numbers make Collin County:
- The fastest growing county in Texas, and one of the fastest growing in the U.S.
- The 6th most populous county in Texas
- Among counties with more than a half-million people, the highest sustained growth rate since the last Census in 2000, at 61 percent
- The wealthiest county in Texas
- The average value of a Collin County home today is $233,591. With a newly adopted five percent homestead exemption and a tax rate decrease in 2008 and 2010 (we haven’t raised our county tax rate in 17 years), that means our average homeowner will pay about $540 in 2011 county taxes. These relatively reasonable housing costs continue to attract new residents from all over the nation, and contribute to our high occupancy rates.
- Per capita income ($35,285) in this part of North Texas is $10,000 a year higher than the U.S. norm, while our median family income outpaces the national rate by almost $30,000, at $88,180.
- On the flip side of the economic coin, only four percent of Collin families are considered living at or under the poverty level, less than half the national average and three times lower than the Texas average. It’s estimated that less than two percent of our families received public cash assistance in 2006.
SPCA of McKinney currently does fabulous public outreach and adoptions, and Petland of Frisco is a busy place with people purchasing puppies right and left- even financing the purchase of those puppies! So why does the public of Collin County not patronize the Collin County Animal Services Facility in the masses? Could it be the hidden location with poor signage? Could it be the staffing shortage that results in no one answering the phone or returning phone calls? Could it be because there is no formal marketing or public outreach to the community, and much of the public just doesn’t know about CCAS? Well, hopefully thanks to Frisco City Councilman Bob Allen that is all about to change!
On Tuesday, May 15, 2012, Councilman Bob Allen will present a SHELTER resolution challenge to the other Frisco city council members for approval. This resolution will also serve as a challenge to city councils in the other Collin County cities that use the shelter. The resolution as written supports 4 new (shelter) positions, directional signage and monthly staff updates/reports during the council meetings. This is a bold first step for this councilman, just recently re-elected to the council. Animal advocates and lovers of Collin County are ecstatic, as they are hopeful that this step will lead the way to much needed reform that will enable the shelter to get up to par with its surroundings and other shelters.
We are grateful to Councilman Allen for his efforts on behalf of CCAS animals, staff and volunteers. We hope to see other supportive persons at the meeting as Councilman Allen takes the lead in positive change!
The city council meeting begins at 6:30 pm inside the City Council Chamber at the George A. Purefoy Municipal Center at 6101 Frisco Square Blvd. We will have neon sticker “name tags” for attendees to wear in support of the resolution.
Please remember we are attending to show our support of the resolution and we encourage only positive and professional behavior out of respect for Councilman Allen’s efforts.
We hope to see you there!
COLLIN COUNTY ANIMAL AWARENESS
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