JARED FIELDS • PICAYUNE STAFF
MARBLE FALLS — The dogs at the Highland Lakes SPCA shelter aren’t unhappy.
They have large outdoor pens that provide plenty of space in which to run and play. Many have a “roommate” to keep them company. They have water, doghouses and a dedicated staff to make sure they’re fed and taken care of.
However, every day isn’t perfect. When it’s 100 degrees outside, the dogs need shade to stay cool.
Bitter cold forces the shelter to bring in dogs to makeshift indoor pens that are too cramped.
And, if the shelter is at maximum capacity, staff can’t even take in a dog.
That soon could all change, however. The organization has plans to break ground on a new building on its property in October.
“This will allow us to take in more new dogs. We will be able to get back in the puppy business, which we’ve been out of for a little while,” said Randy Whitehead, the organization’s executive director. “It’s also easier on the volunteers because they can do more inside.”
The new building will have 26 pens for dogs, with eight on one side of the building for quarantine and 18 on the other side. In the middle will be rooms for volunteers to use when preparing food or providing medical care.
The climate-controlled pens will give the dogs the ability to be inside or out. It also gives them added protection not only from heat and cold but also from severe weather.
The local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is still in need of money in order to have the total $250,000 needed in the budget for the building.
The group has multiple fundraisers planned for the coming months, including Putts for Pups, Raise the Woof and Bark at the Arts. Visit www.highlandlakesspca.org for more information.
Board member Michaela Black has a phrase for what the organization needs: time, talent or treasure.
“All of us have an expertise,” Black said of fellow board members and volunteers.
One person handles social media, another the paperwork, another is in charge of taking dogs to the Bee Cave PetSmart every weekend for adoptions.
“People can have a volunteer position, and they don’t have to be out here,” Black said.
To contact the shelter, visit its website or call (830) 693-0569.