By Mason W. Canales
Killeen Daily Herald
HARKER HEIGHTS - The Pet Adoption Center will open for use Monday after the city's animal control staff spent the latter part of last week moving everything needed from the Harley Drive shelter to the new facility on the corner of Indian Trail and Clore Road.
"We've been chomping at the bit to move in," Harker Heights police Lt. Loretta Fox said.
Animal control workers spent the week moving files and equipment to the new facility, Fox said. They also have been building shelves before finally taking the animals to the new center, Fox said.
About 16 dogs and puppies were transported on Friday, and about 12 cats and kittens made the move Thursday to the new facility, which is six times larger than the old one.
"It is nice to just finally be able to move here permanently, to have all the space," Animal Control Officer Diana Ingram said while placing dogs in their new kennels. "It will be really good for the animals, too."
The floor plan for the building and the number of kennels and cat cages aren't the only things that are larger. Each kennel has more space. And when each animal arrived, animal control workers fashioned water bowls and food bowls in the fenced portions of the kennels so the animals didn't have to eat from the floor.
"They are way more comfortable in here than when they were in the other shelter," Senior Animal Control Officer Nadine Howe said.
The Pet Adoption's Center will officially open for patrons to visit at 9 a.m. Monday.
Adoptions times for the new shelter will start out from
9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday and Sunday, Howe said. Those times might change as animal control settles into the new facility.
There has been so much anticipation about this facility opening that the general contractor gave residents tours of the facility before animal control was allowed to move into the building, Fox said. Recently, residents also pulled into the parking lot daily to see if the facility was open.
Animal control staff members have more office space at the new facility. There is more storage space, a separate quarantine area for animals, a caged-in sally port so animals can't escape and a locker and shower facility.
Volunteers eventually are expected to help with the workload at the facility, Fox said. The city first will let animal control staff members get used to the facility before it accepts volunteers.
The city plans to use volunteers to help walk, feed and clean the animals and show people the animals, she said.
For staff, the long-awaited move has made the holiday season more special.
"It is an early Christmas," Howe said. "It is nice, and I am not going to look back."