Fulton Animal Shelter Construction Won\'t Begin This Year

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FULTON - Construction on a new animal shelter in Fulton will not begin this summer like officials originally hoped.

"Even though we have more than $165,000 pledged, cash on hand we only have about $75,000," said Darin Wernig, City of Fulton public information officer. The city needs about $149,000 cash in order to begin construction.

"We originally wanted to get some dirt moving and get things rolling this summer," said Wernig. 

Fundraising began early 2012, when Mayor LeRoy Benton announced the initiative to raise funds for a new animal shelter. The goal is to open the shelter in 2014.

The current animal shelter can hold about 20 dogs and 10 cats. The new shelter will allow for double or triple the number of animals.

"We've outgrown this [shelter]. And our community--we have more and more animals," said Tina Barnes, Fulton Animal Control supervisor. Barnes added the new shelter will "be able to hold [animals] a little longer and have more chance to get them adopted out."

The current shelter was built in the 1970s, used as a pool and bath house, and was renovated to serve as a temporary animal shelter in 1994.

"A new animal shelter is something that the city has needed for a long time, but we just haven't had the finances as a city to put it in the budget to build a new animal shelter," said Wernig. "But it was something the mayor felt was still needed to be done, so the next best way to do that is to try to raise money privately."

Residents are encouraged to donate to the New Fulton Animal Shelter Initiative. There are several naming opportunities ranging from $50 for a commemorative brick to $50,000 for naming rights to the animal shelter or street on which the shelter will be.