FRIENDSWOOD — Friendswood Animal Control has been under scrutiny recently because of its plans to move dogs to the Alvin Animal Shelter to repair the Friendswood animal shelter’s epoxy flooring.
At a meeting in June, the animal shelter advisory committee decided to indefinitely postpone the treatment of the floor because of backlash from animal welfare activists who said animals would have to be euthanized at the Alvin shelter to make room for the Friendswood dogs.
Police Chief Robert Wieners said that isn’t the case, and that the facility’s spending history shows that euthanizing animals to get a project done doesn’t make sense.
The 3-year-old facility has already undergone improvements. It has a $25,000 contract with a private-sector cleaning company that cleans the shelter every day and has had an additional $12,000 of operations and maintenance added to the yearly budget.
“The dots do not connect,” he said. “We spend way too much money down here. The facility is well-maintained, well-managed and in our mind, it really wasn’t that big of a deal.”
The floor is chipping away. The beige spots of cement are mostly in the thresholds of doors and in busy areas such as the laundry room and the hallway of the dog kennel. Some of the kennels have spots where dogs’ nails have scratched the surface of the floor, but most of the epoxy in the facility is still intact.
Chips in the epoxy paint can harbor bacteria, and that’s not in the best interest of animals or people, Wieners said. The original flooring material isn’t strong enough to handle the harsh cleaning environment, which is why the initial repair plans were for a company called StonHard to replace the floor with a super industrial-grade epoxy sealant, an industry standard in hospitals and chemical plants. This plan would require the dogs to be moved out of the facility and for the cats to be moved to the front of the building.
“I think the solution that we were going to utilize probably would have been more durable and durable for a lot longer,” he said.
A second option, which is to be discussed at the next committee meeting July 30, is to spot-patch the floor in sections. This option does not require any animals to be moved out of the facility.
“It would be less disruptive to operations, and we can just build the cost into the annual maintenance budget rather than making the $35,000 expenditure,” Wieners said.
Animal control office Roger Stenstrom said that even though the shelter’s floor is chipping, it’s still in much better condition than the old facility.
“This building and the floor situation is 10 times better,” he said.
The shelter passed its annual state inspection in April, but to be 100 percent compliant the floor must be completely sealed, Stenstrom said.
“We want to be that way,” he said. “We want it to look good for people coming in. All of our volunteers, all of our employees — we are very passionate in what we do. I think you can see that in how our facility looks. We put our all into this. I think every one of us does.”