Missouri City City Council approved a new interlocal agreement with the city of Stafford to continue the shared use of the animal shelter.

The setup

According to a presentation Jan. 2 by Walter Gant, director of neighborhood services, Missouri City and the city of Stafford has had a shared joint-use agreement of the animal shelter since 1987.
  • In 2011, Stafford paid $100,000 towards the redesign and construction expenses of the new shelter.
  • The previous five-year contract, signed in 2018, ended in 2023.
  • The new agreement includes the continued collaboration with Stafford as a short-term solution to the city’s animal shelter needs.
The restructured contract unanimously approved Jan. 2 includes the addition of:
  • Funding for two part-time kennel techs
  • Seven kennel spaces for the city of Stafford to use at the shelter as needed
The city of Stafford is paying $117,852 to Missouri City for the one-year contract.

“It’s great to see that we are working together,” Gant said. “It’s also great to see that the movement of animals is working out, in regards to the transport.”

Some context

Gant said the new contract will help meet the needs of both Missouri City and the city of Stafford.

The agreement assists Missouri City with:
  • Increasing costs of running the shelter
  • Contributing monetarily for the transport of animals
  • Helping to adequately manage staff members
  • Bringing the shelter to comply with standard operating procedures for consistency in care, cleaning and intake practices
In return, the city of Stafford is able to:
  • Save funds by not having to build a shelter
  • Save funds by not having to hire additional employees
  • Help create efficiency in animal service operations
Gant said Missouri City will have priority over shelter capacity and will only provide the kennels to Stafford if space is available. The shelter, which was recently renovated in November, includes approximately 37 kennels.

The one-year contract with Stafford is available for up to two renewals, which equates to approximately three years.

“We want to be good neighbors, but we want to take care of Missouri City dogs first,” council member Floyd Emery said.

Going forward

Scott McElrath, code compliance administrator for the city of Stafford and team lead for animal control, said he does not have an answer on whether the city will be able to build its own shelter in the next three years or not.

“It’s very difficult in animal control in Fort Bend County for all agencies," he said during the meeting. "If you call Fort Bend County, they are full, and they are full all the time.”

In mid-November, the Fort Bend County animal shelter was over 250% of capacity, Community Impact reported.

“It’s a problem nationwide, and it’s something everybody is trying to wrap their head around to try and find a solution,” McElrath said. "There is some conversation about the county going to a regional facility, but as we all know it's easier to push the rock as a group than to do it by yourself. Many hands make light work."