FULTON - City officials announced on Tuesday, the Garrett Animal Shelter is more than 60% funded and they are optimistic about breaking ground as early as next spring.
Fulton Public Information Officer Darin Wernig said, "Right now we are at 63% of our goal which is $250,000. The goal, the mayor said was to get this money raised by 2014 and so we aren't even into 2013 yet, and we already have more than half of our goal, so it looks like we are definitely going to be able to get this done and make it a reality."
Wernig said, "The current Fulton Animal Shelter was originally designed to just be a temporary solution maybe 10-15 years ago, but over the years other priorities have come up and other things have taken more precedents then a new animal shelter and so we are still in the position were we are using what is essentially a former bathhouse and a swimming pool which was built about 30 years ago."
But thanks to donations and fundraising, the shelter is more than half way to reaching its goal.
About two weeks ago, the city started clearing trees off of Industrial Drive where crews will build the new shelter. The shelter will be about 5,800 square feet and will be able to house 40 dogs and 20 cats. The new shelter has several perks compared to the current location.
"It will be a more modern facility. We will have more space for the employees to work, more space for the animals to be kept and it'll just be a cleaner, more friendlier environment," said Wernig.
According to city officials some advantages to the new animal shelter include:
- house more animals
- able to hold animals longer which increases the chance of being adopted
- provide a safer and friendlier environment for animals and staff
- increase working space for shelter employees
- decrease risk of disease for staff, visitors, and animals as sick dogs and cats will have separate quarantine rooms
- provide a better bonding environment for potential adoptees which will increase adoption rates
The new shelter will be built between Business Route 54 and Westminster Avenue. The city encourages anyone who would like to donate to the shelter to buy raffle tickets or bricks that can be engraved. Raffle tickets can be purchased at Fulton City Hall, Garrett Animal Shelter or at the Kingdom of Callaway Chamber of Commerce through December 31 for only $1.