Fulton Begins Fundraising for New Animal Shelter

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FULTON - The city of Fulton has begun efforts to raise money for a new animal shelter.

Fulton Public Information Officer Darin Wernig said the current Garrett Animal Shelter is no longer fit to provide proper care for the many animals that are brought in every day.

The need for a new shelter has been a long time coming. Garrett Animal Shelter, which started out as a bathhouse, was taken over by Fulton Animal Control in 1994. The building was originally made to be a temporary home for strays in the city but has been the only shelter in Fulton since.

"Anyone who's been to the animal shelter recently can obviously see that it's really outlived its usefulness. It's really not equipped to handle the functions of an animal shelter", Wernig said.

Ten dog kennels and four cat cages are all the shelter has room for. And with new animals being brought in frequently, the shelter by policy euthanizes an animal three weeks after its arrival.

Dripping faucets, rusted fences, and limited space are just some of the problems plaguing the shelter. The building's poor ventilation system has caused some of the animals to develop health problems such as wheezing coughs and mucus build up around their eyes and noses.

The aged and worn structures in the building have become a safety hazard for the shelter's staff as well.

"I'm constantly getting hurt", said animal control officer Alvin Maddox. "It's mostly because of the fencing here. A lot of fences have sharp edges. You really can't tell where it's at. You rub against it and you've got a big scratch on your arm and then you have ripped clothes".

With so many problems both in and outside of the shelter, staff members constantly have to work and spend what little budget money they have on repairs.

"If we get this new shelter, we wouldn't have to use every dime that we get on fixing everything", said Maddox.

Fulton's goal of raising $250,000 relies solely on donations from its citizens. Those wanting to give money toward the new shelter can do so either by filling out a donation form on the city's website, www.fultonmo.org , or mailing one to Fulton City Hall.

Those wanting a more creative way of donating have the chance to purchase an engraved brick in honor of past and present pets. The bricks cost either $50 or $100, depending on their size, and will be placed on the sidewalk of the new shelter.

The new building will be located off Industrial Drive between Business Route 54 and Westminster Avenue. Wernig said the future location is ideal because its far enough away from residential areas.

"Dogs make noises. They bark a lot, especialy when they're outside. Since the new location is in an industrial area, it won't really impact people who are living nearby"

Once the new shelter is built, the current building will be torn down. There is no word on what the space will be used for in the future.