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Tulsa Animal Welfare Hopes To Open Dedicated Adoption Center

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It's a busy time of year for Tulsa Animal Welfare and they sometimes have as many as 75 animals a day coming in the door. It's a busy time of year for Tulsa Animal Welfare and they sometimes have as many as 75 animals a day coming in the door.
Every day before it opens, there's a line of people waiting to get in. Every day before it opens, there's a line of people waiting to get in.
The building is so crowded, some of the dogs have more room than the person in charge of promoting adoptions. The building is so crowded, some of the dogs have more room than the person in charge of promoting adoptions.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Tulsa's animal welfare department is talking with city councilors about an expansion plan to accommodate a surge in animals and a change in philosophy.

It's a busy time of year for Tulsa Animal Welfare and they sometimes have as many as 75 animals a day coming in the door. That's part of the reason they're looking at expanding.

The shelter is, for most people, off the beaten path, but despite that, there's a shortage of parking. And every day before it opens, there's a line of people waiting to get in.

Most people come to look for dogs they've lost, by going up and down the rows of kennels. Others are wanting to adopt a pet and the supply is always more than the demand.

The number of animals - and a change in philosophy - means animal welfare needs more space, possibly even a second location.

"When this facility was built, it was for a philosophy of catch and kill and we no longer operate with that philosophy," said Jean Letcher, of Tulsa Animal Welfare.

The building is so crowded, some of the dogs have more room than the person in charge of promoting adoptions. Her office is where the phone wiring comes in, and it's the tornado shelter, too.

Animal Welfare has a $9 million master plan for expansion, but for now is focused on a $2.8 million start on it they hope will come in the next city bond issue.

A dedicated adoption center, at another site, is for now a dream that's out of reach, but they're hoping to expand what they have with more outdoor space, so people can meet animals they want to adopt.

Expansion is the top need for now.

"We're holding animals longer, both for adoption, for transfer, being pulled for rescue, and we need to keep the animals as healthy as possible," Letcher said.

7/11/2013 Related Story: Tulsa City Council Puts $920M In Capital Improvements Before Public

The shelter continues to work on their effort to adopt out more animals and they continue to ship them to other states. At least 30 animals will go out to Minneapolis this weekend.

The animal shelter is asking for the money in the next bond issue, which would set their building plans for the next five years. The current list from the City Council directs $3.5 million toward expansion and renovation. Finishing up their entire master plan under that timeline would take 15 years.

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