By Gaige Davila
The Port Isabel Rotary Club dedicated several new kennels to the Isabel Y. Garcia Animal Shelter in Port Isabel last Friday, December 20. The kennels’ funding and repair were the Port Isabel Rotary Club’s yearly service project, where the group seeks out a local organization in need of help.
Some of the kennels at the Isabel Y. Garcia Animal Shelter were decommissioned around three years ago, after recommendation from the Department of Texas State Health Services. The posts supporting the fencing of the kennels were rusty, posing a health risk for dogs inside the kennels.
So, for around three years, the kennels sat unused, until Port Isabel Rotary Club member Karla Schurin, who has volunteered extensively at Isabel Y. Garcia Animal Shelter, alerted fellow members of the Rotary Club. For the past year, the PI Rotary Club wrote a grant seeking money to repair the kennels from the city. The grant was awarded, and the city matched it, totalling over $7,000 to repair the kennels.
The kennels can house an additional 25 to 30 dogs. In total, the shelter can house around 100 animals. Shelter director and City of Port Isabel Fire Marshall, John Sandoval, says the shelter doesn’t get close to reaching full capacity.
The new kennels, then, are to give the shelter’s dogs more room to move, and to accommodate for incoming animals from Laguna Heights, which was annexed into Port Isabel last year, extending the shelter’s district.
A local contractor constructed the new kennels, and Rotary Club members provided materials and completed some of the construction, too.