Braxton Citizens' News, Community

Animal Shelter addition closing in on reality

Rotary Club challenges county to match donations

The Braxton Co. Animal Shelter is on the verge of expanding in a big way.  What began several years ago as an effort to add a quarantine unit for sick dogs on the grounds of the original shelter building, has evolved with the realization that additional space was also needed to make the shelter the fully functional refuge for both dogs and cats it was meant to be.   Over $74,000 in money and $13,000 in grants has already been secured to construct an annex building. The 32’ X 36’ to be located on shelter grounds, will house rooms including an intake area for new animals, a laundry room, a puppy room, a whelping room, a hold area for new dog intakes ,  and a quarantine area for sick animals. For the first time in Braxton Co.’s history, there is also space to receive cats and kittens with both a hold area, and a free-roaming cat room with exterior, secured access to accommodate the need. Sick cats will also be placed in the quarantine room, which will have its own drainage and ventilation system to prevent spread of communicable diseases to other pets.

Each room in the proposed plan is deemed essential to provide the type of service for the animals that the community expects. Shelter Director, Kim Jarrett, and assistant director, Megan Stout, concur that the need for the quarantine area is immediate. They cite the recent closure of the facility for multiple weeks due to outbreaks of both parvo and distemper viruses among the dog and puppy population and the lack of appropriate space to isolate and treat those affected while protecting those not showing symptoms. Right now, puppies are being housed in the laundry room and quarantine is being done in the public restroom when necessary. Sally Stewart, program director of Just One Generation Cat Rescue, has been involved in the project design from the onset, and understands the importance of having an option for emergency placement of ownerless cats and kittens.   While all agree that spay and neuter of pets is the biggest factor that will help reduce the problems associated with the overpopulation of dogs and cats in the area, they want to see a community shelter better suited to serve the public and the animals in need.

Corlis Design has donated their time and talents to produce the blueprint. A local contractor has reviewed the plans and is generating a materials list and cost estimate. Once the materials list is received, the project will be put out for bid by the County Commission. Project supporters state that the goal now is to generate sufficient donations to pass the $100,000 mark by the end of the calendar year.   The Braxton Co. Rotary Club has provided an incentive for individuals and groups to donate towards the effort by offering to match any donations received between now and Dec. 31, 2023, up to a total of $10,000.

 “If you or your organization would like to be a part of making this project a reality, consider a contribution while your donation will go twice as far,” explains Stewart. Organizations may also request a speaker to come to their meeting to explain and discuss the project by calling Sally Stewart at 304-364-4136.   Checks or money orders can be made payable to:  BCAS Building Fund and sent to BC Animal Shelter, 10 Animal Shelter Lane, Sutton, WV 26601.   Donations can also be received via PayPal at Shelter.