Frisco Has No Plans

Despite the number of emails from Frisco residents and concerned citizens over the years, the City of Frisco still has no intention of providing the community with an animal shelter. It seems Frisco is now relying on the County shelter to shoulder the weight of the City’s lost and stray animals with their proposed $5.7 million bond item for a 10K square feet expansion of Collin County Animal Services (shelter).

Ironically, Frisco City Council members pulled a Frisco Citizen Bond Committee’s recommendation of a $5 million Animal Services Facility on its May 2023 general election ballot, suggesting that a shelter this size couldn’t be built for this amount. Police Chief David Shilson projected that the price per square footage for 2023 would be $700 and in 2024, $770. Yet, in all of the other capital bond projects presented to the Committee for consideration, the price per square foot was listed at $550 plus a 20% escalation.

In a Sep 25th Town Hall meeting, Frisco resident Stephanie Gould asked, “Besides the preliminary discussion with the 6 potential nonprofits suggested by animal advocates in May’s work session, has the City reached out or filed a request for proposal for any other public/private partnerships for an animal shelter since then?” Mayor Jeff Cheney replied, “Yes, the Staff has had several meetings with potential/private partners. I would say at this point, there has not been a viable partner that has presented itself at this point, but City Council and City Staff are still exploring those.” He continues to add, ” I will say, upcoming, Collin County is going to have a bond election, and part of the bond election is for additional bond funds to expand the Collin County Animal Shelter that the City of Frisco is a partner in.”

The 6 organizations mentioned in the May 16th work session were Habitat 4 Paws, Mazie’s Mission, Frisco Humane Society, Humane Society of North Texas, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), and the Legacy Humane Society. Truth be told, it was Frisco’s Pet Project that made mention to Councilwoman Laura Rummel asking if she would please remind the City of Frisco and the Frisco Police Department and Frisco Animal Services, that it was citizens over the years that asked that these organizations reach out to the City. They did, and the City either talked with or met with some, and said the City would get back to them, and did not. In the work session, Assistant Chief Bill Clay updated the Council on these discussions. No new organizations were even mentioned, and we suspect there are none since. But, we will see. Frisco’s Pet Project has filed an Open Records Request for the “several meetings with potential/private partners” with the City on Sep 25th.

Frisco’s Pet Project is hopeful and is supporting the County’s bond. Several of Frisco’s residents spoke before the Commissioners Court in favor of the expansion. Even if the bond passes, the project will not be completed until 2027. What are the animals, let alone, the staff, volunteers, and residents to do in the meantime? While we wait for the vote on Nov 7th and what we hope is the building process, the County and all of its cities will have to do something more to help with the pet overpopulation.

We have asked both Frisco and McKinney if they would help with a more proactive stance in spay and neuter and low-cost vaccinations while in this stage. As of Oct 4, Mayor George Fuller is looking into this further, while the City of Frisco has no plans. In an email dated Oct 3rd, Chief Shilson, speaking on behalf of City Staff, responded to the following question.

Is there any chance that Frisco will consider building temporary housing or at least open a free spay and neuter clinic to help with our pet overpopulation?

Currently there are no plans for the City of Frisco to build or open a free spay & neuter clinic. We will continue to work with CCAS as they build their expansion through a variety of events that include microchipping, adoption events, and promoting other services for animals. Working directly with CCAS and collaboratively with our neighboring city allows us to coordinate efforts and provide more events that are beneficial to the region. This provides the quickest response for services because as you noted, standing up a new facility would require several steps that would require years to fund, build, and staff.

So, let’s start a count. In May, Collin County Animals Services euthanized 13 cats for space. In Sep, they euthanized 5 dogs for space. How many more will have to die all in the name of space Frisco?

Photo credit and to read – Yfat Yossifor / KERA

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