Starting in 2011 with online videos of dogs scheduled to be put down at Animal Care Services, the co-founders of TracysDogs.com are now creating a holding facility for those awaiting transport out of state to families willing to adopt them.
Tracy Voss and Scott Whyatt are refurbishing the site of a defunct animal shelter that was left in ruins on Borgfeld Road in north Bexar County.
Despite that, both said the property owner was benevolent enough to allow them to make the needed repairs.
“It’s just a fabulous opportunity. We can now see the vision that we had almost two years ago come to fruition and where it will go. We’re thrilled,” Whyatt said.
Voss said once fully operational, the facility will be hold dogs that will be regularly pulled from ACS and even shelters in South Texas. She said they will stay there a few weeks until they’re acclimated and healthy enough to make the trip.
“We’re going to bring them in and move them out. It’s just going to be a revolving door for these dogs,” Voss said.
Unlike the other shelter that kept animals in cramped cages, Whyatt said these dogs regularly run and play as part of their socialization process.
“Within two or three days in a pack and some structure here, they transform themselves into great pets,” Whyatt said.
She also said the facility will serve as a relief valve for shelters always in need of foster homes.
“If people can foster, great! But if they can’t, I can still save the dogs,” Voss said.
By doing so, Voss said she can help those shelters reach no-kill status, or at least reduce their rates of euthanasia.
Voss and Whyatt phase one of the new facility is underway by upgrading the warehouse with a cross-ventilation system, as well as hot and cold water to bathe the dogs. They also are renovating an attached apartment for an on-site kennel manager.
They said once the money is raised, they also plan to build kennels so that the facility can house up to 70 dogs on the fenced in, five acre property.
Whyatt, who has transported dozens of dogs in various trailers around the country, said the long drives are well worth it once he sees adoptive families lined up waiting to adopt them.