HOUSTON (AP) — Harris County officials are expanding animal shelter facilities and planning $24 million in upgrades to help reduce the number of euthanized creatures.

The Houston Chronicle (http://bit.ly/1UN4d73 ) reports ground was broken this month on a transfer facility that could save more than 3,000 animals each year.

The current shelter, about 10 miles north of downtown Houston, is designed to hold about 230 animals — but often has about 330.

A $180,000 grant from the Petco Foundation will fund the transfer site to hold animals pending connection to nonprofits, shelters and homes. That's in addition to $24 million approved by voters in November to revamp the shelter.

Dr. Michael White, director of veterinary public health for Harris County, says animal shelter officials need to let people know that they're available to help.