A generous donation has secured a 60-acre tract for a new SPCA of East Texas facility in Tyler.
Deborah Tittle-Dobbs, of the SPCA of East Texas, said the $800,000 donation to her organization from Tyler residents Brent and Rhonda Bossart was an “unexpected blessing.”
Mrs. Dobbs said the Bossarts attended a fundraiser in October when they saw a video depicting the current problems in Smith County.
Bossart is the president of North American Reserve Corporation, an oil and gas production company.
“Both of them are animal lovers and they came out of the blue and offered us this incredible deal. They told us to pick out a plat of land we wanted and they would purchase it,” she said.
Mrs. Dobbs said the piece of property, which closed last week, has road frontage on Old Noonday Road and Grande Boulevard.
“We will have an entrance off both roadways so that will be very beneficial to us,” she said.
Mrs. Dobbs said there already have been feasibility meetings, and the property, which partially lies in the city limits, was already zoned agricultural so there would be no problems with housing animals at the facility.
While the property is now secured, Mrs. Dobbs said now they need to build the 40,000 square-foot facility needed to house the rescued animals in Smith County.
“Our mission is basically to take over the animal control duties for the county,” she said. “A city our size should have a better way to handle this and because we do not the euthanasia numbers are very high. I think the people in Tyler will get behind this so we don’t have to send animals to Klein in Jacksonville or have dogs stored at the storage facility in the north part of the county where animals are euthanized once a week.”
Mrs. Dobbs said her team already is working with architects, and a master plan has been developed.
“It’s going to take much more fundraising, and some in the area have said they would donate their time to help us complete the estimated $6 million to $8 million facility,” she said. “We never expected the land to be purchased for us like this and it was such a huge and wonderful surprise, which has really helped with our plans.”
The Bossarts could not be reached for comment.
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