By Mason W. Canales

Killeen Daily Herald

HARKER HEIGHTS – The city started the bid process to look for construction contractors for the new animal shelter on Oct. 2.

"We expect to get quite a few people to bid on the project ... and hopefully some good bids," City Manager Steve Carpenter said Friday.

The construction contract bid process should take roughly three to four weeks, Carpenter said. The bids will be presented to the City Council so a contractor can be chosen, and construction could start some time in December.

"I would say by the end of the year they could be working on it," Carpenter said.

The city's current animal shelter is on Harley Drive and is roughly 900 to 1,000 square feet.

It houses 12 dog kennels, enough cages for about 20 cats, a small quarantine area, a small office and barely enough walking room for two between the kennels.

According to the site plans released by the architect, Michael Marrs, the new facility will be a lot larger.

It will have 31 dog kennels and a room with 40 cat cages, according to the site plans. A glass wall will allow patrons to view the cats from the lobby.

A sally port with outside kennels to leave animals at night or during the weekend, a quarantine area, a procedure area next to an incinerator and a room with additional cat cages, offices, a lobby, a conference room and a walking area for dogs are also included in the site plans.

The location of the building will be on the corner of Indian Trail and Clore Road, next to fire station one and across the street from the police department and library.

The design of the building will be a lot more attractive, and it will be a more central location for the city.

"That all goes back to what the goal is, which is getting as many animals as we can adopted out," Carpenter said.

The current shelter sees an average of 1,500 animals a year, and euthanizes about 400 cats and 250 dogs a year, Harker Heights police Lt. Loretta Fox said in an July Killeen Daily Herald article.

The additional room for the animals will mean animals can stay there longer before being euthanized. The location change and more attractive design of the building will make it more appealing to those who are thinking of adopting animals, Carpenter said.

"I think (getting to this stage in the construction process) is really good," Carpenter said. "The shelter we have is really not adequate, and it is hard to maintain and it is not centrally located. The new one will be."

Contact Mason W. Canales at or (254) 501-7554.

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