FRIENDSWOOD — Plans to put a new floor in the city’s animal shelter are on hold after an animal rescue group claimed the work would result in the euthanization of several animals.
The police chief, who oversees shelter operations, denied those accusations. Nevertheless the city’s animal advisory committee delayed any work until it meets next week.
Police Chief Bob Wieners said the epoxy flooring in the 3-year-old shelter is faulty in several spots. Plans called for a more durable product to be installed.
To install the new flooring, the dogs at the shelter would have to be moved temporarily. Wieners reached tentative agreements with the new animal shelter in Alvin as well as the League City shelter.
“We’re talking 10 to 18 dogs that would have to be moved for a short while,” Wieners said.
The Friendswood shelter’s 40 cats would remain in town.
As the shelter staff prepared for the move, Marlene Marino, who heads the Forgotten Pet Advocates rescue group, launched an online campaign decrying the effort. She claims the other shelters would have to euthanize animals to make room for Friendswood’s animals or that the Friendswood shelter animals would be put down.
“People thought they were being transferred to other animal controls, and they would be safe,” she said in an interview with KHOU-TV.
“That is not the case. There is only one way to make space, and that is to euthanize who is in that space.”
Wieners called the accusations “rumors” by someone with an agenda to discredit municipal shelters.
“There was never a plan or even the thought of any animals being euthanized to make room for our animals,” Wieners said. “That would not be the case.”
Alvin shelter officials said they had plenty of room, Wieners said. League City officials said they would help only if they had the extra space.
Marino’s claims that the shelters were already overcrowded could not be verified. Calls to both centers were not returned Friday.
Wieners said plans called for the $35,000 in floor work to be done between July 7 and July 27.
When the outcry came, Wieners found that Friendswood school district had a couple of air-conditioned portable buildings available for use at the district’s old junior high.
That is an option, but the chief said he would rather house the dogs at a facility built and staffed to shelter animals.
In a voice mail left with The Daily News, Marino said the best option was to find a way to keep the animals within the city limits of Friendswood.
She could not be reached to comment on where she got information that animals would be put down.
Earlier this week, the animal advisory committee had too many questions about the flooring work and wanted more information before giving the green light to move ahead. The group will meet again on Tuesday to review the details.
WHAT: Friendswood Animal Shelter Advisory Committee
WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday
WHERE: Friendswood Municipal Court Room, 1600 Whitaker Drive