CONROE, TX (KTRK) --For years, Montgomery County commissioners have been discussing the county's animal shelter. And they still are.
The shelter has its share of critics, including some of the shelter's volunteers, who have their own concerns.
"More of the dogs dying, and this never changing -- this is Groundhog Day at its finest," Tracey Fentem, a rescue volunteer said.
Earlier this year, veterinarian Todd Hayden was hired as the shelter's director, after the county took back the operation from a private contractor hired to run it. The euthanasia rate is now a third of what it was four years ago.
It's an animal shelter in a county that's growing, and it's been through a lot of changes. It's gone from county run, to privately run and back to county control again; and for those who advocate for the animals, it's not where it needs to be.
"It's an old-style dog pound, OK. It's not a real shelter, it's a place of processing," Bill O'Sullivan, a Montgomery County resident said.
Some find homes, others do not. So far this year, 2,286 animals have been euthanized according to the county. That's an improvement over the same time four years ago, when more than 8,200 animals were destroyed.
Hayden explains that euthanizing animals is done to keep the spread of disease down when dogs are brought in off the streets. He says those that are healthy are moved into the adoption kennels. Commissioners on Tuesday, discussed using inmates to work in the shelter, and hiring more vet and kennel techs. They also are considering stablishing a euthanasia policy.
The eventual goal is to keep animal control a county operation.
"Then we have a non-profit shelter in place, not with county dollars, but run by people who love the animals the most," said Montgomery County Commissioner James Noack.