TULSA, Oklahoma - The City of Tulsa wants to make major improvements to its animal shelter, but to do that they said they need help from the community.

The city will soon be asking for proposals from companies willing to revitalize the shelter.

City leaders said the current problems are because of decades of under-funding.

They said they've made a lot of improvements, but more could be made.

Those in charge of Tulsa Animal Welfare said they want to give the animals the best chance.

"The bottom line is we want to have the best animal welfare system in the country, so we've got a lot of ground to make up," Mayor Bynum's Chief of Staff Jack Blair said.

He said they've looked at cities across the country and believe partnerships with private companies are the answer.

In just a few weeks, they'll start accepting proposals for management and services.

"Tulsans are very passionate about animals, so we want to take advantage of that, give them an opportunity to help us do our work better, and reach our potential," Blair said.

That vision includes a more modern facility. That's provided for in the money from Improve Our Tulsa.

"We've got a facility that needs upgrades - serious upgrades. We're hoping that a partner can help us leverage the public funds that we have voter approval for to really make a first-class facility," Blair said.

They're taking a hard look at management experience and the track record of potential partners.

Blair said the city wants to lower the number of stray animals by spaying and neutering.

They also hope to boost adoptions and their live release rate, to decrease the number of animals they need to euthanize.

"It's not enough to say we're passionate about animals. We need someone who can really make manage the day to day operations of a really difficult operation,” Blair said.

The city wants to have a new approach in place by July 1.