Hurricane Harvey interrupted plans for a new animal shelter in Dickinson, but a $500,000 grant will help nonprofit Bayou Animal Services Corp. design a bigger and nicer facility, officials said.
“Every time we think we’re done, something comes up like Harvey,” said board member Charles Suderman, who also is a Dickinson City Council member.
The Petco Foundation on Monday presented Bayou Animal Services officials with a $500,000 grant for the new shelter. Mayor Julie Masters and other Dickinson officials attended the presentation at Petco, 2895 Interstate 45 S., in League City.
Dickinson Councilman Walter Wilson also is a member of the Bayou Animal Services board, an entity separate from the city that began in 2016 to provide animal control and shelter for the cities of Clear Lake Shores, Dickinson and Santa Fe. Pet owners have adopted more than 1,200 animals through Bayou Animal Services, city officials said.
The new animal shelter will be built at 3120 Deats Road, Wilson said.
The board already had $500,000 for a new shelter, Wilson said. The Petco grant doubles the $500,000 the board already had, meaning the shelter will get a $1 million facility.
The $500,000 grant will add kennel space and will include upgraded cat condos, a free roaming cat room, outdoor dog play yards for large dog playgroups, and separate areas for the intake and veterinary care, shelter manager Melvin Trover said.
“It will make it more efficient,” Trover said.
More than 500 animals needed shelter during Hurricane Harvey, which struck in late August. The need overwhelmed the Dickinson shelter to the point that city crews opened up one of the public works barns to use as a temporary shelter, said Sarah Saunders, an animal control officer with the city of Dickinson.
“We pretty much took it over,” Trover said.
Harvey made landfall Aug. 25 in Rockport, about 200 miles south of Dickinson, but in the days that followed historic rains dumped on Galveston County and forced streams and bayous over their banks, flooding about 20,000 homes in the county.
Dickinson city officials opened the council chambers during Hurricane Harvey to about 200 people and 75 pets, Suderman said.
“It was one of the few dry places,” Suderman said.
He called Trover to come get some of the dogs out of council chambers. Some evacuees mentioned they had left pets at home, especially big dogs they couldn’t fit in boats, so Trover and other volunteers went out in boats to check on the dogs and took them to the shelter.
“During Harvey, everybody kicked in,” Trover said.