Prairie Paws Construction Update
Grand Prairie Animal Services is currently under construction! The construction will expand the building to accommodate more animals, a new clinic and a ‘Get-to-Know You’ court yard.
We did a Q&A with Animal Services Manager Danielle Tate to find out what’s currently going on at Prairie Paws and how people can help during construction.
Q: Tell me a little bit about what's going on. What can we expect to see happening here within the next year?
A: Next year we have three additions going onto the building. We will have a Spay/Neuter Clinic where all the animals that are in the shelter will be sterilized. We have another section and renovations that are being done to expand our animal intake. We're doubling our capacity of dogs and we’re tripling our capacity of cats.
Q: We’ve had a lot of rain recently, how's that been impacting the construction? When can we expect to see all this come to an end?
A: We are about three months behind because of all the rain. Every time they go to pour the concrete it rains. Then we have to wait for it to dry out. It takes a day to pump the water out and additional time for the dirt to dry out. Looks like construction will be complete around June 2018.
Q: With all this running behind, how has this been affecting your day-to-day operations with your staff?
A: It's been difficult, to say the least, for everyone day after day to come in. Two Saturdays ago we did “Clear the Shelter” and adopted out 67 animals, but since then we've brought in 186. So it has continued to stress our whole system. Trying to have everyone upbeat and working and taking care of the animals, that's been tough.
Q: What can people do to help out with what's going on?
A: Couple of things, employee morale is always a big thing; it's hard to be here every day when people are relinquishing their pets. Then we find strays and find ones that have been injured. So bring cookies to the staff! Bring Gatorade to the staff! They all like to eat, so they would truly appreciate it. If they’re feeling good about everything, that relates down to the animals. So it helps out a lot. Donation wise, we can always use towels and sheets. Sheets are really good for when we are doing our Trap-Neuter-Release program so we need some flat sheets. Final thing, we need adopters to come in and adopt our dogs and cats and help us clear the shelter every day of the year. If you can't adopt, then possibly foster. Take them out on a weekend away from the shelter and give them a break, give us a break and be able to get away from the overcrowded shelter.
Q: Tell me a little bit about where you have to take the dogs out.
A: This has really put a stress on our system because we had to build all these temporary kennels on the far side of our building and most of them are small, so the dogs don't get a lot of room. Luckily it’s been a wet summer instead of a dry summer, but it wreaks havoc on what we have to do outside. We have to move the temporary kennels around because of all the rain and the mud. If anyone has any pea gravel they'd like to donate go ahead and bring us some (please!) Or we'll take stepping stones too. That will help the dogs to get in-and-out of the kennels without getting all muddy.
When it's all done, there will be beautiful new dog runs and a 'Get-to-Know-You' court yard. We're excited, but it's going to take a long time to get there. We do have two nice big areas for larger dogs to run a little bit and get some exercise. It was all dirt, and we had to lay all the sod. We're trying to keep it alive for the summer, which seems to be doing pretty well.
Our biggest issue now is finding some type of tents that won't blow away in the wind. We've put up some and they didn't last 24 hours! The wind took them down Warrior Trail! We're in search of at least two more tents so we can put some shade on this side. And also, our doggies love to get into baby pools, so if you find any on clearance out there since it is the end of the season, we'd be grateful if you picked them up for us.
For more information, visit the Grand Prairie Animal Services website or call 972-237-8575.