The Altus Animal Shelter is in a critical state.
One example of the overwhelming issue was Assistant City Manager Matt Wojnowski dressed in business attire in 100-degree weather, mopping and cleaning the outdated building.
The Department of Corrections or DOC inmate workers, whose last day in Altus was July 5, would feed, water, walk and bathe the animals. The DOC inmates also would assist in cleaning, sweeping, mopping, and sanitizing the kennels. Inmates would ride along and help Animal Control Officer Krissy Mahew in handling the numerous calls from citizens with animal issues.
On Jan. 5, Mayor Jack Smiley formed an Animal Welfare Committee in response to the community’s need for more proactive management and policy development pertaining to local domestic animal population and it’s challenges, including support and guidance for animal owners.
The committee includes Brenda Mahan, Altus Resident; council members Dwayne Martin, Chris Riffle and Perry Shelton; Animal Control Officer Krissy Mayhew, Assistant City Manager Matt Wojnowski and Altus Chief of Police Tim Murphy.
The committee meets monthly and engages the community directly to establish needs, review current policies, develop the best practices and policies with pertinent agencies. The committee seeks to emulate successful model communities and submit findings and recommendations to the city council as needed.
The Altus Animal Shelter building is old and outdated, many upgrades and improvements are needed, and the kennels also are very old and need to be replaced, officials said.
On Tuesday, Wojnowski and Riffle, worked with the staff and volunteers Brenda Mahan, Allison Templer and Cole McMahon in high temperatures to keep the center open and animals safe. They shoveled feces, swept, mopped and sanitized the kennels — fed and watered more than 75 animals.
“We have toured the Lawton animal facility and have seen the road map for what Altus needs to do,” Martin said. “We must now implement the plan.”
Reach Mary O. Esparza at 580-482-1221, ext. 2077.