The Frisco animal shelter debate continues; city ​​officials say it’s not necessary

FRISCO. Whether building a Frisco animal shelter will cause more problems than it solves is still under debate when the civil bond committee presented its recommendations to the city council on Tuesday.

The joint work session, which delayed another city council meeting by two hours, was very similar to the last few meetings of the Citizens’ Bonds Committee, the theme of which was an ongoing dialogue about whether the city needed shelter.

City officials do not believe that a shelter is needed.

Frisco Police Chief David Shilson said the city’s animal welfare department has three goals: reuniting pets with their owners, education, and adoption/neuter clinics.

“We don’t need shelter to do any of this,” Shilson said.

The police chief discussed personnel issues, euthanasia and the legal issues that having an animal shelter can bring to the city.

Shilson also told the council that there were no rooms.

He said that last year, 520 animals were taken to the Collin County Animal Shelter and another 124 were field ransomed, not many for a city of 225,000 people.

Shilson proposed other solutions, such as the city’s new lost and found pet center, merging with CCAS for more adoption activities, and partnering with local veterinarians for microchipping and vaccination clinics.

Mayor Jeff Cheney said pledging something staff don’t need crosses a line and is like telling staff how to do their job.

“It almost looks like hypocrisy towards the public,” Cheney said.

Frisco’s Pet Project, an animal welfare group, has been supporting the shelter for many years. Several members of the group attended the meeting, saying it was a missed opportunity for a city the size of Frisco and could help the Collin County Animal Services, which is overwhelmed.

Some told the council that the numbers presented by the police chief don’t tell the whole story because they don’t take into account all the groups of animals that help with the homeless and rescue in the city.

The decision now rests with the city council, which will vote on the bond decision on Feb. 7.

In addition to the $5 million that was considered for an animal shelter, the committee recommended $131 million for public safety, which would include a new fire station and a police/fire training center; $31 million for city services, including a shared facility for environmental services and public works; $240 million for street and road construction; and $43 million for parks, which will focus on walkways and bike paths.

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