02/18/09 — Duplin sets its sights on new animal shelter

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Duplin sets its sights on new animal shelter

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on February 18, 2009 1:46 PM

KENANSVILLE -- More than a year ago, the Duplin County Board of Commissioners formed the Animal Advisory Board as interest in building a new animal shelter grew among residents.

Monday, the group's chairman, Frank Brown, took the discussion a step further, announcing the creation of the Animal Shelter Trust Fund -- a coffer intended to enlist help from the private sector to make a new facility possible.

"We know Duplin County can't afford one," Brown said, adding that some Duplin citizens have already contributed to the fund.

The proposed Duplin shelter would be a bit more simple than the one recently constructed in Wayne County, Brown said.

After all, even though one third of the $2.2 million cost to build Wayne's Animal Adoption and Education Center was raised by private donations, Brown told commissioners that his board realizes similar expectations in their county would be a "pie-in-the sky wish list."

So instead, the proposal calls for the county to build and equip the new animal shelter in the spirit of the one in Sampson County -- built with "cool cells" like those typically found in hog houses -- for roughly $700,000.

"We think (the trust fund) can raise significant funds but not the entire $700,000," Brown said.

Each of the five commissioners present voted to give $500 each toward the effort.

And after Brown's presentation, the Duplin-Onslow Hunters Association presented the first public donation, a $500 check.

This morning, Animal Control Officer Chris Sumner said he was "tickled to death" that the fund drive has gotten underway.

"We've been needing (a new animal shelter) for a while," he said. "Ours is small, and we are one of the last counties to update our facility."

If the design chosen by the Animal Advisory Board comes to fruition, the new shelter would have 70 main pens and 14 quarantine pens for dogs and about 35 cat pens.

"I don't need much room," Sumner said. "I need pen space more than for myself so I can keep an animal longer and better its chances of getting adopted. It's all about the animals."

Contributions toward the shelter fund are tax deductible.

Those who wish to contribute to the cause can send checks made out to the Duplin County Animal Shelter Trust Fund to P.O. Box 950, Kenansville, N.C. 28349.