KIRBY, Texas – A new no-kill animal shelter that is set to open in a couple of weeks will be shared by the city of Kirby and Bexar County and will initially housing 60 dogs and cats.
Kirby police Chief Kevin Bois said with no shelter of its own, Bexar County Animal Control officer take the city’s homeless animals to Animal Care Services in San Antonio.
“County animal control needed a facility. We needed a bigger facility,” Bois said.
Bois said that was why Christi Banduch, Kirby’s animal control officer at the time, came up with the idea of collaborating with Bexar County, where she now works as an animal control officer there.
“It’s been a long five years of work to get this project off the ground, but it’s going to be great for the animals,” Banduch wrote in a text.
Banduch said now that the first phase is complete, there are three more to go. Each phase is just under $1 million and will add additional kennels, an administrative building and more.
Bois said the city of Kirby donated the land next to its fire station, and the county covered the cost of the building. He said it will be managed by a county employee and run by city staff.
To honor her commitment to saving homeless animals during her nearly five years in Kirby, Banduch is one of 15 others in the nation given the Maddie Hero Award. The award that comes with a $10,000 grant, which is bestowed by Maddie’s Fund, a family foundation established by Dave and Cheryl Duffield in memory of their dog, Maddie. It recognizes no-kill efforts through “innovative ideas, progressive thinking and lifesaving actions.”
Banduch was honored in the lifesaving category.
“It doesn’t surprise me one bit,” Kirby Mayor Stephanie Faulkner said. “She’s very passionate, especially about no-kill.”
“She struggled to find room for 300 to 500 animals a month,” Bois said.
Bois said luckily, the community responded with dozens and dozens of animal crates.
Bois said thanks to Banduch’s efforts, she went from nothing almost five years ago to creating an award-winning shelter.
Banduch said she will remain very involved with the new facility, which is located across the street from the original facility at 5503 Duffek Dr. off of Ackerman Road in Kirby.