POMEROY — Thursday morning saw the groundbreaking of the new location for the Meigs County Dog Shelter.
Along with a new building, the shelter will also be receiving a new name: The Meigs County Animal Adoption and Rescue Center.
The new facility, which is tentatively set to be ready by April, will have bulldozers arriving Monday, weather permitting, Commissioner Randy Smith said. It is located at the intersection of Highland Road and State Route 7 near the recycle bins at the bottom of Hospital Hill.
“We absolutely need (the shelter), and this is day one of making it a reality,” he said.
According to Jim Thomas, of BDT Architects & Interior Designers of Athens, the new facility will be approximately 2,432 square feet. There will be a waiting room, a main office, a viewing room with small kennels where dogs can be more visibly seen by the public, restrooms, a back room with 24 large dog kennels, a puppy area, a back working area that includes a maintenance facility with a washer and dryer, a sally port, or an enclosed entry way in which animals can be brought in vehicles and then released from the vehicle without escaping, three overnight drop kennels, an outdoor dug run area and an intake room area where new arrivals can be weighed, medicated or washed before being taken to a kennel.
Aside from Smith, many spoke about the positivity of the new facility finally becoming a reality. Karen Smith, the county dog warden, said she’s been honored to have the position. She also honored some of those who help her within the office, including Vicki Baer and her assistant, Dee Cummins.
“Dee and I have a vision for our shelter to be an asset and not an eye sore,” she said. “When the dogs show up at our doorstep, they deserve the best that we can offer them.”
A plaque for Norman and Janet Roush, who could not attend, was also discussed by Smith, who said the couple donated $500 to the shelter on behalf of their late dog, Princess Di. Smith said that most of the funding for the building will be coming from county general funds.
Perry Varnadoe, from the Meigs County Economic Development Office, said that while much of the building has been paid for by county general funds, there is a small funding gap that still needs to be filled. Varnadoe announced that to make the facility top of the line, they hope to raise $20,000 in the next few weeks through donations, sponsorships and even memorials. For example, a family can make a contribution and have one of the kennels in the facility named after a their beloved furry friend.
Those who run the dog shelter said another way to help raise funds and show community responsibility is to purchase dog license/tags at the auditor’s office. The license will be $12 in December and January, and $24 after that because of a $12 penalty. Smith also said that if the funds are eventually available, they would like to open a shelter for cats in the community as well. But for now, the focus will be on the new facility.
“We’re excited to see our dream finally become reality, this desire to see a new shelter,” she said.
For more information, contact the current shelter at 740-992-3779.
Reach Lindsay Kriz at 740-992-2155 EXT. 2555.