ST. JOSEPH, Mo.
Staff and volunteers at The St. Joseph Animal Shelter have big hopes for the potential of a brand new shelter facility, because to them the animals mean more than what meets the eye.
"Animal shelter care has changed dramatically since the time that our old animal shelter was built back in the '70's," Kappy Hodges, Friends Of The Animal Shelter board member said. "There's new standards of care and people feel differently about stray animals and pets than they used to. Our old building just isn't up to snuff anymore, there are new practices that we need to incorporate into a new building,"
The St. Joseph Animal Shelter is currently near full capacity with close to 100 animals in need of good homes, meaning space is crucial to help more animals according to staff.
"Initially when we were looking at starting from the ground up, where we would have to bring in water and sewer and electricity, it was going to be close to $5 million dollars. We found a building that would suit that we could renovate and that's taken the cost down to half of that about $2 and a half million to both purchase and renovate the facility," Hodges said.
The proposed location of the new facility at Mitchell Woods Corporate Park off of Riverside Road would provide twice the space of the current shelter.
Volunteers are asking for $1 million dollars in community improvement project funds that would go toward the $2.5 million the renovation project would cost.
"It's a matter of needing more space, but it's also a matter of better housing for the animals and a better quality for them. When animals are housed in better space, then you have a lot less stress and disease," Holly Bowie, St. Joseph Animal Shelter manager said.
"We're very excited, we think this is the perfect location and we did not want to lose it. We've already signed a lease on it and we're going to be paying rent on that until we can get enough donors to purchase it ourselves," Hodges said.
Staff say the goal is to relocate by January of 2018.
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