Saturday, 02 March 2024

County celebrates beginning of animal shelter project

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LAKEPORT The effort to build a new county animal shelter came one step closer to reality Monday, with officials gathering to break ground on the long-awaited project.


More than 20 people showed up for the Monday morning ceremony, held at the new shelter location on Hill Road.


County Supervisors Denise Rushing, Ed Robey, Anthony Farrington and Jeff Smith, along with Animal Care & Control Director Denise Johnson and County Administrative Officer Kelly Cox, took up shovels to turn the ground in anticipation of the project's first phase.


Behind the group a piece of heavy equipment waited quietly to begin preparing the ground for the site of the new 6,800-square-foot shelter.


During the ceremony, County Public Works Director Gerald Shaul described the genesis of the project. {enclose Groundbreaking_Animal_control.mp3}


The shelter effort is about about saving lives, said Johnson. "Our only goal is to save lives and promote adoption.”


The current shelter was built in the 1940s, and is both outdated and too small. The new $2 million shelter will ultimately have twice the current capacity for dogs with a total of 72 kennels, and have 30 to 40 more cages for cats, Johnson said.

 

The new facility will have the space to quarantine sick animals and protect healthy animals from disease, Johnson said.


"In our facility we didn't have any way to separate them," she said, "so a lot of lives were lost.


"Here we won't be so overcrowded, especially in the cat area,” she added. “We've had some serious overcrowding in the cat room. The building is just not big enough. This new building will have a lot of space."

 

 

The two-phase project will include preparing the ground for the facility by removing several trees, flattening out a hill and installing sewer, water and power lines. Phase one is estimated to be completed in 30 days.

 

 

The shelter's phase two will include the construction of a 3,400-square-foot building that will house Animal Care & Control's office and indoor kennels, Shaul said, as well as a detached, 3,400-square-foot kennel building.

 

 

After the ceremony concluded with a dog digging up a bone on the site of the groundbreaking, Johnson stressed that much credit was due to the assistance of Shaul.


"It's been really nice to have his support and his guidance," she said.


If you would like to make a tax-deductible contribution to the shelter fund, donations may be mailed either to Lake County Animal Care & Control, 887 Lakeport Blvd., Lakeport CA 95453 (write "shelter donation" on your check), or Lake County Animal Services Shelter Fund, P.O. Box 662, Lakeport, CA 95453.


For more information about helping animals locally, including adopting pets or education, visit the following Web sites: Lake County Animal Care & Control, www.co.lake.ca.us/countygovernment/animalcontrol/animalcontrol.asp; or Lake County Animal Services, www.lakecountyanimalservices.org.


E-mail John Jensen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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