03 Dec $2 million needed to build animal shelter
Beaufort County and the Hilton Head Humane Association will soon launch a $2 million fundraising campaign to help pay for the remainder of the planned $7 million new county animal shelter.
The additional funding will help the county expand its original, $5 million plan to build a 10,000-square-foot facility on SC 170 between Pritcher Point and Heffalump roads, next to the River’s End community.
The new plan is for a larger animal shelter campus with more than 20,000 square feet of indoor facilities between two connected buildings and a park with open space and trails, officials said this week.
The campus will include a state-of-the-art shelter for Beaufort County Animal Services to house and treat animals brought there or picked up by animal services officers, and it will include a new spay-neuter clinic and adoption center to be managed by the Hilton Head Humane Association.
County and humane association leaders signed a formal agreement for the construction and operation of the new facility this week.
“It’s going to make it a lot more efficient for everybody,” said Chuck Laine, chairman of the human association board of directors. “We truly believe in the county’s cause, and that’s why we’re doing it. It’s going to be a wonderful piece of property.”
Hilton Head Humane has committed $1 million to the project under the new agreement, and the county has dedicated $3.5 million for the project and $500,000 to design the facility.
The remaining $2 million of the new shelter’s estimated cost will come from private fundraising over at least the next year, leaders said.
“People will look at the amount the facility will cost and (gasp), but it’s like building a hospital,” said Tallulah Trice, the county’s animal control director. “If we don’t have the proper facility to prevent, then we’re always going to be treating, and that’s not cost effective.”
The new campus will replace the county’s aging and deteriorating shelter off US 21 outside Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, where the outdoor facilities cause temperature, noise, disease control and rehabilitation issues.
It will also tie Trice’s operation closer to the humane association after three years of close partnership to spay-neuter, treat, transport and adopt local animals.
Local spay-neuter operations have helped reduce the shelter’s total animal intake from almost 5,300 in 2009 to just over 3,000 in 2015 through the end of November, Trice said. This year, the shelter’s total intake has dropped by almost 100 animals every month, she added.
“It’s great. Hilton Head (Humane) and Beaufort County, we’ve been working side by side for almost four years and it’s working,” Trice said. “It’s one of the best partnerships for the community. Residents are seeing a reduction in everything we do because of our focus.”
The new shelter facilities and clinic will only add to that, said county administrator Gary Kubic and humane association director Frannie Gerthoffer. The park and trails also will make the shelter a community center for residents and families to come play with — and potentially adopt — the association’s roster of dogs and cats, Kubic and Laine added.
The county and humane association are working now to form a committee of volunteers to design and lead the fundraising campaign, Kubic and Laine said.
Construction is still likely more than a year away, and no specific timeline has been set, Kubic added.
“I’s a group effort. It’s very exciting, though it didn’t happen overnight,” Gerthoffer said.
Click the “popout” button () while hovering over the document window below to see this content in full screen mode.
- Beaufort County Council endorses sterilization rules for local pit bulls, Sept. 16, 2015
- New $5 million animal shelter planned by county with Hilton Head Humane Association, May 26, 2015
- Social media helps in hunt for animal abusers, April 24, 2015
- 20 Beaufort County dogs head to Washington, D.C., new homes, March 3, 2015
Read more here: http://www.islandpacket.com/news/local/community/beaufort-news/article47806395.html#storylink=cpy