New animal shelter ready for spring

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The new animal shelter under construction on Park Avenue West in Chatham is set to open this spring, with more room for both humans and animals. Fundraising is still going to help with furnishing the interior.

Work on the new Chatham-Kent Animal Shelter is coming along, with organizers anticipating a spring opening.

Lynn McGeachy, project co-ordinator, said, “The project is moving along nicely and we’re expecting to open in early spring. It depends on the weather a little bit.”

Located beside the current animal shelter on Park Avenue West in Chatham, the new facility will have more room for animals, for the public considering adoptions and will include a community room for education and events.

McGeachy said while fundraising for the cost of the construction is completed, the Friends of the Animal Shelter are still looking for funds to fully furnish the facility. She said currently, they are looking for donations to purchase cat cages and to buy furniture that meets specification for disease prevention.

Some of the features of the new building that will make it better for the animals and the humans who look after them include adoption room for families to meet and interact with the animals, a community room for gatherings and events like birthday parties, large windows at the front where kids can interact with and read to the cats, a bathing room, and assessment room. There will also be outdoor space in the courtyard for the animals to play and exercise.

One new feature that McGeachy particularly likes is the food prep area for the animals.

“The food prep area is close to where the animals are so they can be fed efficiently and effectively,” she said. “The building is a U-shape so there is an interior court yard so people can play with the animals outside and also individual dog runs for the less socialized animals.”

Chatham Coun. and co-chair of the Friends of the Animal Shelter Marjorie Crew said it may have taken a little longer than they thought it would, but it’s here now and almost ready. With some furnishings still needed, she said people who want to donate can go to newanimalshelterck.com to find out what is still needed and help finish the project.

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