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Bexar County partners with Kirby to build new animal shelter

City, county will share operation costs

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KIRBY, Texas – The city of Kirby is celebrating the expansion of its animal shelter. Organizers said the project should benefit animals throughout Bexar County.

Construction is underway at the Northeast Bexar County shelter, where workers said they are excited for the 60 new double kennels, a dog-washing area and extra storage right across the street.

January Dugan, with the animal shelter, said the 37 current kennels just weren't enough for the city's needs.

"I think having the extra holding facility will make it better for us to save more lives, it will help our city and it will help our county," Dugan said. "The goal is to make a partnership."

Kirby and Bexar County are picking up the costs. The county will use the new facility as its official shelter, instead of leasing cramped space in San Antonio's facility.

"We were limited to only 10 slots a day. So for, you know, a county of 1.9 million to have only 10 slots that we could put in place, we'll save a little bit of money," Precinct Four Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Calvert said. "I think we're paying as much, you know, to put them at that kennel as the Hilton Hotel."

Kirby City Manager Monique Vernon said the staff members from the Kirby and county shelters often work together and were sharing their frustrations.

"They just started a conversation one day about some of the limits that they each had and jointly came up with this idea. And then they approached the management and the elected officials, who agreed that it was a wonderful opportunity," Vernon said.

The design and construction is paid for by the county, a total of $800,000. Bexar County and Kirby will split the operation costs.

Construction is expected to be completed in December.