07/31/06 — More than $230,000 needed for new shelter

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More than $230,000 needed for new shelter

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on July 31, 2006 1:47 PM

Wayne County residents have raised about $16,500 of a requested $250,000 for a new animal shelter.

Earlier this month, County Manager Lee Smith said the county would allocate about $750,000 for a new shelter, and that construction could begin as soon as January.

Many of the county commissioners agreed that a new animal shelter could be built for $750,000, but any additional costs would need to be paid for by the public.

The original site design estimates that a new animal shelter would cost about $1.2 million. Since construction costs have increased during the past year, the public could have to pay as much as $400,000 for a new shelter, Concerned Citizens of Wayne County member Barrett Parker said.

As of July 20, the public has raised a little more than $16,500, the animal shelter's executive assistant Kim Wells said. If construction does begin in January, that leaves the public with about five months to raise at least $230,000.

Last month, Commissioner Jack Best said local residents will raise the extra money needed for an animal shelter if they believe in the project.

Ms. Parker, whose organization has asked residents to sign petitions for a new shelter, said she also believes the public can raise the money. But she added that local residents need assurances that a new shelter will have better policies than the current facility.

"If we were told more that things were going to change, I think there would be full-fledged fundraising. If we are only going to have a new building, then things aren't going to improve," Ms. Parker said.

Some policy changes Concerned Citizens of Wayne County would like to see include the humane euthanization of animals by lethal injection instead of the current method of mass euthanization through a carbon monoxide gas chamber, Ms. Parker said.

Also, if volunteers are allowed to work at the shelter, Ms. Parker said it would save the county money. A spay and neuter program would also benefit the community by decreasing the potential animal population, she added.

Until these policy changes are recognized by the county commissioners, Ms. Parker said it could be difficult to get the local Humane Society chapter, Concerned Citizens of Wayne County and the general public to donate for a new animal shelter.

"For the public to raise their share of the balance, the public needs assurance that the policies will change," she said.

Ms. Parker said many of the local organizations have not begun a fundraising effort, but none of them will rule out the possibility of going to the public.

The county has a separate account for people that would like to donate for a new animal shelter, Mrs. Wells said. If a shelter is not built, then those that donated will be refunded by the county.

People who are interested in contributing can send a check to Wayne County at P.O. Box 227, Goldsboro, N.C., 27533. On the subject line, specify that the donation, which is tax-deductible, is for the shelter fund.

Checks can also be sent to the local Humane Society chapter at P.O. Box 821, Goldsboro, N.C., 27522.