The Fort Worth Animal Shelter says its needs your help to keep animals alive. The city wants to build a new medical ward at the Chuck Silcox shelter, but it can't do it without donations.
"The picture on the website for the shelter had this big black and white smiling face," said dog owner Veanna Moore.
Moore first saw Sherlock, an Akita/mix, in a picture online. He was housed at the Fort Worth animal shelter, set to be euthenized.
"I saw that smile and I thought, 'this just can't happen,'" said Moore.
When she came to pick him up, he didn't look like his intake photo.
"They brought him out and this gaping wound was ust bleeding. It was profusely bleeding," she said.
Moore's veterinarian told her a bleeding absess on his neck was from a bite, which Moore is convinced he got at the shelter.
"I'm certain he was bitten. The extensiveness of this wound, it has to be a dog attack," Moore said.
"The temperament issue is something that we continue to work on," said Brandon Bennett, Fort Worth Director of Code Compliance.
Today, Sherlock is nearly fully recovered. He's staying with a friend of Moore's who is a breeder. She's hoping to find him a home.
Many dogs don't get this chance.
"We have animals here that we're unable to treat in house or we're unable to place in rescue," said Bennett.
The shelter is constantly full, housing up to 400 dogs at a time. Sometimes multiple animals end up housed in the same cage, though the shelter aims to keep all of the animals housed seperately. If they're injured, they may end up euthenized. The shelter doesn't have the resources to care for them long-term.
"If any animal becomes injured here, we have a vet and vet staff that are here to care for, but, ultimately, at the end of the day, after that 72 hours, we have to find a place for that animal, through rescue or adoption. To leave it here, what happens is, if it's not sick, it will become sick because of all the sick animals that we bring in," said Bennett.
The shelter has eight medical isolation rooms. A shelter volunteer tells us Sherlock was placed in one of those rooms after the absess on his neck ruptured. More rooms are needed to keep more dogs alive.
"Unfortunately, we have some dogs come in that don't make it to adoption or rescue because of their illness, because of their injury, because of their aggressiveness that we have euthanize them because we don't have any takers," said Bennett.
The proposed medical ward would have 58 isolation rooms.
Bennett says the city currently has a live-release rate of 60%. It hopes the expansion would help it reach a goal of 90%. To make the ward a reality, the city needs donations.
"The odds of getting city dollars for this are very slim for a number of years. So, every dollar counts," said Bennett.