Amid increasing intake numbers at the shelter, Collin County Animal Services launched a new foster program in January for dogs and cats.

The new program was launched shortly after the Frisco Citizen Bond Committee recommended placing a $5 million bond item on the May 6 general election ballot that would fund a municipal animal shelter. The item did not make it to the ballot after Frisco City Council ultimately decided against the committee’s recommendations.

In addition, Collin County Commissioners Court directed the Planning Board to examine the county’s needs for a potential bond election to be held in November. During the Feb. 20 meeting, Commissioner Cheryl Williams recommended they consider Collin County Animal Services when determining the potential bond propositions.

“Frisco just chose not to put [an] animal shelter on their bond, and as our population grows, so does our animal population,” she said. “We don’t have [the] capacity we need there.”

Since 2019, the shelter has seen a decrease in adoption rates while processing a similar amount of animals each year, according to animal services’ budget reports. The kennel has 60 dog kennels and some room for temporary wire kennels to be placed in the shelter’s hallways, Volunteer Coordinator Sara Jones said.
Because dogs are not being adopted as often and the shelter’s intake numbers are remaining consistent, staff are using the temporary kennels more than they used to, she said.

“It’s stressful for them [and] stressful for us because we still have dogs coming in at pretty much the same rate as we did last year and the years before that,” Jones said.

When the kennels reach full capacity, the shelter makes a Facebook post similar to one made Feb. 25 that calls for residents to share the word, adopt or foster.

“That means that every single kennel is full, and every single space that there could be a wire crate is also full,” Jones said. “So we are [at] like super max capacity—nowhere to put a single dog.”

For Collin County residents wondering how they can help, the shelter is looking for adopters, volunteers and foster homes, she said. The foster program was launched to help with the shelter reaching full capacity.

“[If] somebody doesn’t want to exactly adopt, they can help us in a way of, at least taking a dog from here and clearing some space then,” she said.

The foster program was first opened up to shelter volunteers and county staff, Jones said. By the end of January, Collin County Animal Services had opened it up to the public. People interested in learning more about fostering can email the animal services department at [email protected] or send a message through Facebook.

Fostering a dog also offers the shelter a chance to see how the dog adjusts to living in a home, Jones said. People can also open their homes to fostering cats.

People interested in volunteering need to be age 16 or older. After filling out an application, they will meet with Jones and complete training that takes between a couple of weeks and a month, she said.

The shelter only asks for four hours a month from its volunteers. Those who volunteer can walk the dogs, play with the animals, watch a movie with them or clean the kennels, Jones said.

Jones said it was important to get the word out about the animal shelter and its services. For people who have lost a pet, they may not know it ended up at the Collin County Animal Shelter.

“If your dog ever goes missing, maybe check in with us,” she said. “That helps a million times as well.”