Reader letters, 3-10

Mar 09, 2017

Animal Shelter Well Under Way

To the editor:

The land has been cleared, leveled and footers poured………. so, “What’s next,” you ask.  Become a part of the movement.

The Friends of Haywood County Animal Shelter (The Friends) have pledged to raise $1 million to cover the essential equipment, furniture and supplies needed for sustainable operations of the new shelter.  Demonstrating their commitment, the group presented the County Commissioners with a check for $175,700 the amount that had been raised at that time.  “The estimated price tag of $3.5 million seems steep but an animal shelter is not a standard building”, said Dr. Kristin Hammett ,The Friends president. “There are specific requirements defined by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture  essential to assure the health and well-being of the animals and the people who work at or visit the shelter. It is a basic metal building with concrete floors.  Air handling and plumbing systems to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, additional sound proofing to lessen the noise from barking and quarantine rooms add expense over and above the actual building.  It’s not a Taj Mahal!”

The new shelter will meet the needs of Haywood County for the next 25 + years and its price tag falls in the mid-range of shelters being built around the nation.  A low-interest U.S. Department of Agriculture loan of $3.4 million has been secured to build the facility and will be funded at a cost of approximately $2.30 per Haywood County resident each year out of sales tax dollars. Sarah Jane League, The Friends treasurer, stated, “To be clear, the facility will NOT be funded by property taxes.  The Friends’ $1 million pledge will also reduce the cost to the county.”

“Now, we are gearing up to raise the rest of the $1million to help many lost, stray and surrendered cats and dogs move from lonely to loved and make Haywood County’s Animal Shelter an example of our community’s compassionate success.  Watch this paper (print and digital) for announcements on events coming in March and April.

“We’re working on a major event for May, when many of our neighbors return from their winter breaks,” said Sarah Jane.  As the building continues, in addition to general donations, donors will be able to choose from menu of personalized and naming opportunities to dedicate, a room, office, kennel, cat condo or a common area in memory or in honor of a pet or loved one. Many pet owners have beloved pets or people they would like to memorialize and what a great way to do it!

All those contributing to the capital campaign will also have their name on the Capital Campaign Donor Plaque in the lobby as a thank you. To learn more about making a donation and naming opportunities go to www.hcasfriends.org.  For more information contact the Friends at fohcas1@gmail.com or PO Box 142, Waynesville, NC 28786