There have been many changes to the Ellis County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) facility in this past year.

With Christian Parker at the reins as the executive director, the Ellis County SPCA took major steps toward becoming the county go-to facility when it comes to pet adoptions.

“One of my main goals for this facility is for it to be the main county location for pet adoptions,” Parker said. “We are definitely moving in that direction as we slowly buy out city contracts, with Ferris being our newest city to join us.”

Parker said it is the desire of the Ellis County SPCA that all cities are able to rely on them when it comes to pet needs. He said he would love to see the surrounding cities come up with a plan to establish one main SPCA instead of everyone having their own localized facilities.

“I think the county could really benefit from it,” he said. “And I believe we would be able to meet the needs of many more pets if we put our resources together.”

Parker said while that is his main vision, there were smaller issues he needed to tackle as soon as he took over the facility. He said to make things flow more efficiently, several changes needed to be made.

“One of the first things I did was make staffing changes,” he said. “I realized the people and system they had in place just wasn’t working. With the exception of the office manager, every one was hired on after I took over.”

Parker also noticed there were some renovations that needed to be made to better meet pet and community demands.

“When I took over, the very first thing I noticed was how out-of-date the facility was,” Parker said. “We got together as a staff and decided to rearrange our floor plan.”

In the process of changing the floor plan, they turned the old director’s office into an adoption consultation room. The room was built with the customer in mind.

“In the past, we had a place out back where the customer could take the animal to become more acquainted with it,” he said. “But Texas weather can be so unpredictable and we want our customers to be comfortable as they look to adopt. The room is entirely for the customer.”

The other areas that were renovated were the entrance way to the adoption room and the adoption room itself. Parker said paint was chipped in several areas, walls were discolored and flooring needed replacing.

Parker said this has been a year filled with productivity, challenges and eye-opening experiences.

“Our greatest challenge, other than financial, has been communicating who we are and what we do,” he said. “People often assume that we’re associated with the Texas SPCA, but we’re not. So I spend a lot of time speaking at community events and schools telling them about us.”

In the midst of the challenges, Parker said this has been a great year. He said the Ellis County SPCA is all about providing animals with a second chance.

“All the animals here are looking for a second chance and that is what it’s all about,” Parker said.

For information concerning pet adoptions, contact the Ellis County SPCA at 972-935-0756 or visit elliscountyspca.org.

Contact Melissa at 469-517-1450 or melissa.cade@wninews.com.