Following recent renovations to the city’s animal adoption trailers, Sherman is moving forward with an overhaul of its animal shelter.
Director of Community and Support Services Steve Ayers said the goal of the work at the animal shelter, which is currently underway, is to make it brighter and more adoption friendly.
“It’s a good, clean, efficient shelter, but there’s some things we’re looking to do to renovate that and make it even better,” Ayers said, explaining more artwork of animals and viewing windows are being considered for around the shelter’s adoption area. “Those are some of the things we want to do to make it more friendly and enjoyable. People can come in and feel at home and actually view some of the pets that they can adopt.”
Animal Services Manager Scott Parker said the work will improve some of the outdated aspects of the shelter, which is located at 1800 E. Ida Road, but it will also create an inconvenience for visitors.
“We won’t be able to use the front door, so people will have to come in the back door,” Parker said, explaining a makeshift office has been set up in what used to be the shelter’s cat area. “It’s going to be that way until we get the renovations done. But we’re still going to be able to do our adoptions and other services.”
Ayers said the renovation work at the animal shelter is consistent with improvements city staff have made at other locations over the past couple of years, such as work at the Sherman Municipal Building, the city human resource office and the upcoming work at the Sherman Public Library.
“The focus of our work was getting the most out of our funds and taking the funds we have as far as we can take it,” Ayers said. “Some of the things we’re trying to do is using a lot of our work crews, like building maintenance crews, to do as much as they can. Our crews are going to do a lot of the dirty work and then we’ll subcontract piece by piece.”
City Manager Robby Hefton said city crews are going to be used when needed on the library project, but that will likely be done mostly through outside contractors so it won’t take workers away from the animal shelter.
“The large part of the library project is going to have to be farmed out because it’s specialized things we don’t have the resources and manpower to do,” Hefton said. “We continue to look at our internal crews as a great source to supplement big projects, but also to handle projects like this where we can.”
Ayers said he expects work on the animal shelter to be finished by the end of spring of next year.
Parker said the work on the city’s adoption trailers, which included a new wrap for the outside of the vehicles with pictures of animals, has already paid dividends.
“Just over time it’s gotten aged and it’s exciting to see that by the city putting some money back into it, it looks brand new again,” Parker said, adding the new look helps attract people during weekend trips to the Sherman Town Center. “We’ve tried several different things over the years and we have figured out the best results on getting pets adopted is consistently partnering with PETCO. That’s been the best relationship we’ve had. We get more animals adopted during that weekend than we do all week.”