09/30/07 — Shelter breaks ground Tuesday

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Shelter breaks ground Tuesday

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on September 30, 2007 2:06 AM

The bid has been awarded, all the plans are in hand and with 18 "prominent and well-known women" ready to "dare to bare" to help pay for it, all that's left to do for the county's new million-dollar animal shelter is to actually build it -- beginning with a ceremonial groundbreaking Tuesday at 3 p.m.

But, animal control director Justin Scally said, it won't be just any groundbreaking.

"We're taking dogs and allowing them to do the actual groundbreaking," he said.

To ensure the canines actually dig, he explained that shelter workers will bury bones and use their own pets.

"This is really for the animals," Scally said. "And what better than to have our animals break ground on this facility that is here for them."

Then once the ceremony is over, contractors for Daniels and Daniels Construction Co. will begin clearing the wooded site, which is behind the old community college and across from Goldsboro's General Services Department on Clingman Street.

The plan, Scally continued, is for construction to be be completed within the next nine to 12 months.

"We're excited," he said. "This is a big step."

The new 11,500-square-foot structure is scheduled to cost slightly more than $1.8 million.

Helping foot that bill, though, will be the Wayne County Humane Society, with a pledged donation of $150,000.

Donations and pledges from other community groups and residents have totaled nearly $350,000.

"The Humane Society has committed to $150,000 for the bricks and mortar construction of the animal center," Humane Society vice president Jean Hollowell said. "But in order to do that, we've got to do some fundraising. For every dollar we raise, 75 cents will go to the bricks and mortar, and 25 will go to the programs we hope to have at the center."

With the new "state-of-the-art" facility featuring much more space and equipment than the current one, she explained that volunteers are hoping to increase pet education, adoption and spay-and-neuter programs. She also said the humane society is looking to begin a foster care program for pets that "just need a little more time to be adopted," as well as an emergency care program for adoptable animals that come in with severe injuries.

"This is going to be a great place. It's going to be a place you want to go to and a place you're proud of," Ms. Hollowell said. "No longer are we going to call it a pound or an animal shelter. It's an animal adoption and education center."

But to help make it that, they first have a pretty sizable chunk of money to raise, and they're looking to do so with some unique ideas.

One fairly run-of-the-mill method will be the selling of memorial bricks, likely for about $100 each.

Another effort will be a head-shaving bidding war, featuring Frances Gooden, Barrett Parker, county Manager Lee Smith and Mrs. Hollowell herself.

But the project that Mrs. Hollowell and others are most excited about is the "Dare to Bare: Petals and Paws" 18-month calendar, which will feature 18 Wayne County ladies, including Margaret Baddour and Sarah Merritt, posing with pets and floral arrangements. It is planned to run from July 2008, all the way through 2009.

"It's a little bit risqué," Mrs. Hollowell admitted. "But we've got 18 prominent, well-known, wonderful, beautiful women committed to this, and I think it's going to be great.

"It'll be artful, provocative, very tasteful and very professionally done -- a bit like (in the movie) 'Calendar Girls.' There will be no nudity, just very provocative poses that will leave everything to the imagination.

"But we do believe it's going to create a buzz because it's something new and something that hasn't been done in this area."

And while the society hasn't yet set dates for any of its fundraisers, Hollowell said that people can expect to be hearing more about them in the coming weeks and months as construction starts on the new shelter.

"We really encourage the community to call us if they have suggestions or if they'd like to volunteer," she said. "It's about money, but it's also about time, commitment and interest. We're really going to try to get everybody involved."

For more information, call either Barrett Parker at 751-3928 or Mrs. Hollowell at 739-5657.