An artist’s rending shows what an expanded animal play area will look like at Temple Animal Shelter.

Ceremony will be at 10 a.m. Dec. 19 at shelter


A groundbreaking ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 19, for the Temple Animal Shelter expansion project. The ceremony will be held at the shelter, 620 Mama Dog Circle.

The expansion will double the number of spaces for stray, surrendered and lost pets, but the biggest change will be in animal comfort.

“The expanded facility will have an HVAC system so we can control climate conditions inside the kennel area,” said Temple Police Chief Shawn Reynolds, who also oversees the city’s animal services and shelter. “Right now, we just have some big fans there. This will help us better regulate the temperatures.”

The current shelter facility can hold 36 dogs in the kennel area. Expansion will increase capacity to 76. The facility will remain a “limited kill” facility, but greater capacity allows shelter workers more time to find suitable homes for their furry guests.

“We will add two new kennel rooms — one on the north side of the building, one on the west side,” Reynolds said. “Each will hold 20 dogs.”

Reynolds said the shelter’s cat room will be relocated and expanded as well.

In addition to more holding space, the expanded shelter will include a new meet-and-greet area so people can get to know animals they may adopt.

“There will be three meet-and-greet areas, and they will be partially covered to protect against the sun and rain,” Reynolds said. “We haven’t decided on the turf yet — we may go with an artificial surface or just grass.”

“We want to create a place where animals can play and for folks to spend time with the animals they may adopt. There will be an area where people can bring their current dogs to see how they interact with one they may be considering for adoption.”

One of the biggest changes to the shelter will be the front lobby. Right now, customers walk directly into an office setting. That will change.

“The new shelter will have a dedicated lobby area with a place to fill out adoption papers,” Reynolds said. “There will be separate offices for shelter staff.”

The lobby will include a service counter and a small retail shop where new owners can buy pet essentials such as leashes and collars.

Funding for the project was approved earlier this year as part of $54.9 million in certificates of obligation issued for a variety of projects.

Unlike most forms of municipal debt, certificates of obligation do not require voter approval.

According to Temple Animal Services supervisor Amy Strunk, expansion is needed to keep pace with the city’s growth.

“The shelter houses stray impounded animals that require a hold before they can be adopted,” she said. “The shelter also accepts owner surrender for Temple residents. The expansion will allow us to separate strays on hold from animals available for adoption.”

The ground-breaking ceremony is open to the public.

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