Tulsa Day Center Begins Construction On New Kennel For Pets

Along with the recognition that there are more homeless Tulsans than before, the Tulsa Day Center recognized an increase in the number of animals among their clients.

Friday, May 31st 2024, 5:28 pm



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A Tulsa homeless shelter broke ground on a new expansion on Friday. The Tulsa Day Center said it will make room for 10 additional residents.

With the homeless count increasing in Tulsa, so is the effort to take in homeless people by eliminating reasons to stay outside.

Along with the recognition that there are more homeless Tulsans than before, the Tulsa Day Center recognized an increase in the number of animals among their clients.

"She's my rock, she's my emotional support dog," said Debbie Copeland.

About 20% of homeless people have a pet, according to the last census.

Debbie Copeland, a Tulsan experiencing homelessness, is one of them.

"We keep her on a leash, tethered to the chair," she said.

Copeland uses a donated kennel to keep her dog inside the Day Center.

Soon, a space behind the Center will be a new kennel for the pets of homeless people.

"We're bringing in six to seven animals a night but this will bring in about 10 more animals and get more folks off the streets hopefully," said Tulsa Day Center Director Mack Haltom.

On Friday, officials marked the start of a $482,000 shelter, funded with local donations and a federal grant.

The need will still be greater than capacity.

"If it wouldn't have been for this place, them taking dogs, I never would have came here," said Tulsan Angela Moore.

Copeland is looking forward to a place for her dog Lucy when the shelter opens in Fall 2024.

"That kennel will be good for all of us. Not just for the dogs but for the other residents who don't always appreciate dogs," Copeland said.

About half the cost is from the American Rescue Plan, which is money intended to help cities address homelessness.

They'll take dogs mainly, but have space for a few cats if needed.

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