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GARLAND RESIDENT RICHARD FLETCHER STARTED

[00:00:04]

VOLUNTEERING AT THE GARLAND ANIMAL SHELTER A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO, FOLLOWING THE DEATH A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO, FOLLOWING THE DEATH OF HIS 12-YEAR-OLD DOG BLIZZARD.

I WAS GRIEF-STRICKEN. I HAD TO DO SOMETHING TO ALLEVIATE THAT AND HELPING OTHER DOGS WAS THE PATH I CHOSE.

"WE'RE GONNA GET YOU OUTTA HERE BUDDY." IT'S BEEN A REWARDING EXPERIENCE HE SAID.

AND HE CAN'T WAIT TO CONTINUE TO LEND A HAND AT THE NEW ANIMAL SHELTER. SO IT'S JUST KIND OF EXCITING TO BE PART OF THAT.

"3, 2, 1" THE NEW SHELTER IS ONE STEP CLOSER TO BECOMING A REALITY.

GARLAND CITY LEADERS JUST BROKE GROUND ON A 24,000 SQ-FT. ANIMAL SHELTER AND ADOPTION CENTER.

IT'S REALLY DIFFICULT TO THINK OF A PROJECT THAT HAS MEANT MORE TO THE CITIZENS OF GARLAND THAN THIS ONE. THIS HAS BEEN THE DREAM OF THE GARLAND COMMUNITY NOW FOR OVER 20 YEARS.

(BARKING) THE CURRENT SHELTER WAS BUILD MORE THAN 50 YEARS AGO.

(MEOW) IT WASN'T MEANT FOR THE TYPE OF TRAFFIC AND SERVICES THAT IT SEES TODAY.

ABOUT 8,000 DOGS AND CATS EVERY YEAR.

(BARKING) YOU KNOW THE SHELTER, THE WAY IT WAS ORIGINALLY BUILT WAS BUILT JUST TO HOUSE ANIMALS AS A TEMPORARY THING AND THERE WERE NO AMENITIES TO IT, THERE WAS NO REAL COMFORT TO IT FOR THE ANIMALS, OR FOR THE STAFF FOR THAT MATTER.

WE HAVE NEEDED TO MAKE SOME UPDATES TO THAT FOR A VERY LONG TIME.

IN MAY OF 2019, GARLAND RESIDENTS OVERWHELMINGLY VOTED IN FAVOR OF A 12-MILLION-DOLLAR ANIMAL SHELTER. IT WAS ONE OF EIGHT ITEMS THEY APPROVED IN THAT BOND ELECTION. THIS IS SOMETHING WE HAVE WANTED FOR SO LONG THAT THE CITIZENS HAVE ASKED FOR FOR SO LONG THAT WE HAVE ALL ADVOCATED FOR SO LONG, AND WE'VE SIMPLY DIDN'T HAVE MONEY IN THE CITY TO DO IT, UNTIL THE BOND PROGRAM, SO THIS IS A DREAM COME TRUE FOR MANY OF US.

THE NEW SHELTER WILL BE LOCATED ON STATE HIGHWAY 66 BETWEEN CENTERVILLE AND COUNTRY CLUB ROADS. IT WILL BE ABLE TO HOUSE MORE THAN 200 DOGS AND 140 CATS. AMENITIES WILL INCLUDE A DOG MEETING AND BONDING ROOM, ADOPTION SUITES, A LARGE SPAY AND NEUTER CLINIC, AND MUCH MORE. WE'RE GONNA HAVE SEVEN PLAY YARDS WHERE YOU CAN GO MEET AND GREET. YOU CAN BRING YOUR OWN ANIMAL. WE'LL HAVE ADOPTION SPECIALISTS IN PLACE TO HELP YOU FIND THAT ANIMAL THAT'S GOING TO FIT YOUR HOME. NOW THAT WE HAVE A STATE OF THE ART FACILITY COMING SOON, WE'RE ADDING ADDITIONAL PROGRAMS. WE'RE ADDING AN ANIMAL CRUELTY DIVISION. CITY STAFF SPENT SEVERAL RESEARCHING GETTING COMMUNITY INPUT, AND EVEN VISITING OTHER SHELTERS.

TO FIND OUT WOULD THEY HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY? YOU KNOW, WHAT DID THEY LIKE, WHAT DID THEY NOT LIKE? SO WE TRIED TO LEARN FROM OTHER PEOPLES EXPERIENCES TO SEE WHAT WOULD WORK BEST.

"GOOD BOY ACE." SHELTER VOLUNTEER RICHARD FLETCHER SAYS THAT HE CAN'T WAIT FOR THE NEW SHELTER TO OPEN UP SO THAT HE CAN CONTINUE GIVING BACK TO A SHELTER THAT WAS THERE FOR HIM DURING TOUGH TIMES.

THERE'S SOMETHING VERY HEARTWARMING AND UPLIFTING ABOUT JUST MAKING A POOR NEGLECTED OR ABANDONED OR SURRENDERED ANIMALS LIFE A LITTLE BIT BETTER.

AND IF EVERYTHING GOES AS PLANNED, WE SHOULD EXPECT A RIBBON-CUTTING HERE IN MID-2022. YOU CAN KEEP UP WITH THIS AND THE OTHER BOND PROJECTS BY GOING TO BUILDGARLAND.COM.

FOR THE CITY OF GARLAND, I'M SAUL GARZA.

(MUSIC)

* This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.