MWC Citizens Push For Improvements To Animal Shelter

Saturday, July 8th 2017, 10:09 pm
By: News 9

Citizens in Midwest City are pushing to delay a bond proposal vote after funding for the animal shelter was removed from the list.

Studies conducted in 2014 and 2016 recommended the replacement and relocation of the city’s shelter. Recent capacity constraints prove it has become a life or death situation.

With just 24 kennels, and more surrenders and strays coming in than adoptions walking out, Midwest City's shelter has been forced to euthanize one-third of its dogs and cats.

“These things that we do, they keep us awake at night, and it’s a sad situation at times,” said supervisor Adrian Sanders.

Animal lovers like Katie Hawk were thrilled when $3 million for a new shelter appeared on the city's bond proposal list in January. No stranger to rescuing furry friends, Hawk said her elation turned to anger when a revised list suddenly eliminated that funding.

“They’re trying to keep it under a certain millage and they needed to remove some things,” Hawk said from her conversations with Midwest City Mayor Matt Dukes and city council members.

Those conversations revealed plans to build a new $250,000 adoption center with funding outside of the bond issue, but Hawk thinks the area's animal overpopulation problem can only be resolved with a completely new center.

“They would boost their adoption rates just by being able to be more visible and get more foot traffic,” she said.

Hawk and other citizens are now telling the councilors to delay their vote on the project list until they find room for the shelter. She points to one proposition allocating $16 million for improvements to recreational facilities.

“Those are not needs,” said Hawk. “From our perspective those are wants, and we can definitely spare $3 million of that $16 million for the shelter to address an actual need for a core service.”

Dukes told News 9 he will release a statement addressing these concerns on Monday. The City Council is scheduled to vote on Tuesday, and shelter supporters plan to be there in full force.