It’s a dire situation for stray and lost animals in Marshall, Texas. Officials say the shelter is understaffed and lacks enough space. There’s one thing that can change it all to save lives.
Marshall has one of the highest euthanasia rates in the country, historically sitting at 80-percent.
“By today’s standards across the country that’s not acceptable anymore. Our practices here in Marshall don’t measure up to today’s standards,” said Ed Smith, Friends of the Marshall Animal Shelter president.
Former mayor, Ed Smith is now president of the Friends of the Marshall Animal Shelter, the non-profit that’s been working to build a new shelter, because he said it’s the only way to change the high-kill rate. He said the current facility is just not big enough to hold the constant intakes from the city and county.
“Virtually everyday we’re putting down animals that really don’t need to be put down,” Smith said.
He also said the building is in “shambles” and it’s not prepared to handle sick animals with contagious diseases. It’s under-staffed, where only three city police officers run it.
“Ghe foundation is porous, the walls are porous. The walls are rotting and decaying. It’s very hard to clean and sanitize, if at all. If Parvo comes in to the shelter then they have to put all the dogs down. If an upper respiratory disease comes in with a cat, then they have to put down all the cats,” Smith said.
The current shelter processes around three-thousand dogs and cats a year. The majority never make it out of the shelter.
“They’re pets just like the typical pets anyone has at home. They’re not diseased, sick animals, they’re not incorrigible or means animals. They’re just everyday, typical pets,” Smith said.
Smith said they do work with rescues as much as possible and offer a foster program. He encourages people to think twice about what’s being done in Marshall.
“How a community treats it’s animals really says a lot about the values of that community,” Smith said.
The Marshall Animal Shelter adopts cats for a 60-dollar fee and dogs for 70-dollars. It includes a rabies vaccine and micro-chipping.
The Friends of the Marshall Animal Shelter held a big adoption day on Saturday from 3 to 6 p.m. at Petsense.