Dallas Animal Adoption Center Partnership In Jeopardy

DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Nestled inside a North Dallas PetSmart, the new city animal shelter has, in less than a year, found homes for almost 1,500 dogs and cats.

“I saw this guy sitting in the glass case over there,” Nicole Gallucci said pointing to her canine companion. “I just fell in love with him instantly.”

Manager Nickie Hernandez says the location is now PetSmart Charities’ top performing adoption center in the country.

Last year the national non-profit spent $450,000 to build the Everyday Adoption Center, with kennels for the animals and a playroom where they can exercise.

The City of Dallas, in exchange, agreed to provide the animals and staff an estimated cost of $350,000 a year.

“It’s such a perfect private partnership… just what Mayor Rawlings keeps talking about that the city of Dallas needs,” said Mary Spencer, chair of the Animal Shelter Commission. 
But, Spencer says the city has yet to come through with any money.

If future staffing isn’t funded, Spencer says, the center could close. 
“It would be horribly embarrassing,” she said.

City spokesperson Shawn Williams said next year’s budget has not been set, but confirmed the current draft does not include funding for the new center.

“All numbers are preliminary, and the first focus is to make sure a balanced budget is presented,” he said.

City council member Sandy Greyson worries if the partnership fails, it could scare off other donors. “I think the message it will send is that the city will not match your contribution, so you may not want to give us that contribution.”

The animal shelter commission is fighting for $1.7 million in additional funding, but says keeping the North Dallas center open is its number one priority.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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