Rambler Newspapers

Serving Irving, Coppell and Grand Prairie

Coppell Animal Services assists Grapevine’s homeless pets

Coppell, Grapevine—The Grapevine Animal Services Building closed for demolition and reconstruction in 2019 with funding from a 2017 bond election. The new building, measuring 13,500 square feet, is almost three times as large as the old shelter.

For the 18 months of reconstruction, Grapevine Animal Services worked with the Coppell Animal Shelter to ensure homeless pets from Grapevine were kept safe.

“Grapevine moved in here right after Thanksgiving of 2019,” said Charlene Lovato, manager of Coppell Animal Services. “The Grapevine project was actually delayed several times. They were supposed to move in sooner, but because of weather and other various things, it got pushed back like six months. Everything took longer.

“We have the whole inter-municipal agreement, the city-to-city aid contract that goes back and forth. Grapevine helped us out in 2017 into early 2018. We were remodeling [the front lobby], a hallway and some offices.

“Grapevine housed our animals for about six months until we moved back in. We also sent them our kennel tech at the time. She’s an officer here now, but she went over there to work for them.”

When Grapevine needed assistance, Coppell welcomed them with open arms.

“When they came over here, they sent staff members who would come and help out as kennel techs. They would come in and help clean and stuff like that. Then they still had to do their own field calls,” Lovato said.

The Coppell shelter received calls about animals from both cities. She feels Coppell gets more wildlife calls than Grapevine.

“We probably have more wildlife calls than they do, because people are just so much more shocked,” Lovato said. “I think, because we don’t have a lake that people live by. They don’t expect, when they live in a house in the middle of Coppell, there’s going to be a bobcat on their fence.

“There are coyotes, bobcats, ducks and there was even a wild hog for a little while. It’s like people see [wildlife] and if they’ve never seen it before, they’re like, ‘Whoa, somebody come get it out.’”

Lovato explained the differences in the typical calls received.

“I would definitely say their call volume is much deeper than ours with the surrenders and the stray animals. I know their field officers were in and out most days with different animals. Then they have their police after hours, bringing in strays,” she said.

A surprising spot for animals in need of care was DFW Airport.

“The DFW Police would make a lot of arrests at the airport, and many people for whatever reason, had an animal with them when they got arrested,” Lovato said. “We would get those all the time for Grapevine. Or somebody gets a drunk driving arrest, and they’ve got a dog in the car. We keep the dog until [the owner] gets out [of jail] or somebody that’s appointed to take it can come get it.

“The amount of animals that came from the airport was something that blew my mind. I never knew that much was going down at the airport, because when I’m there, it’s pretty tame.”

The shelter has been involved in some interesting rescues.

“We had some fish that were abandoned,” Lovato said. “I guess somebody took their fish tank and left it by a dumpster when they moved out of an apartment. They left the tank full of fish in nasty water. A maintenance guy found it, but it was a big tank, so he couldn’t get the whole thing. But he scooped out some of the disgusting water that you couldn’t even see through and put the fish in a bucket. “There were about 20 fish, mostly goldfish, and he brought him up here. We’re like, ‘Oh, crap, we don’t have a fish tank laying around.’ We had to go to Walmart and buy one of those little kits. The fish were a little cramped, but it was better than nothing. Actually, Kristina [Valentine, Grapevine Animal Services manager] ended up taking them. The ones that lived are at the Grapevine shelter now.”