Tri-Cities Animal Shelter volunteers say facility conditions are deplorable

A small group of volunteers at the Tri-Cities Animal Shelter is pleading for a new facility due to horrible conditions at the current one.

Located in Pasco, the building has been standing since the 1950s. Now, the roof is falling apart, drains are overflowing and cages are breaking. Volunteers say the city councils have been talking about a new facility for about 10 years. However, they say nothing has been done.

“Every year, you know, the price goes up obviously, so we just need them to figure how we can get it this year,” said Julie Webb, TCAS volunteer. “If we continue, it’s just going to get more and more expensive and it just needs to be done now.”

The volunteers started a group with the hashtag #NothingFancyJustFunctional.

On Tuesday night, volunteers and other supporters will speak at the Kennewick and Richland City Council meetings. They’re hoping their examples of deplorable conditions will push leaders to act.

“The shelter staff feels embarrassed sometimes because they feel like it’s house cleaning,” Webb explained. “There’s nothing that they can do. They’ve done all they can. It just needs to be demolished and we need to start fresh.”

KAPP-KVEW spoke to Zach Ratkai, Community Services Director for the City of Pasco. He said he will be meeting with the volunteer group on Wednesday. They’ll be discussing where they’re at with a design.

Webb said the group will keep going to meetings until the city breaks ground on a new facility. She adds that despite the conditions of the shelter, the animals are being taken care of by the staff and volunteers.