By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — The Dearborn Animal Shelter staff has reached two-thirds of its goal for a new shelter to continue caring for more than 2,000 dogs, cats and other animals.
The shelter has worked diligently to raise $3.4 million of its $5.7 million goal through fundraisers.
“We hope to raise enough money to break ground on the new shelter by the middle of next year,” shelter spokesperson Sandy Boulton said.
About $4 million will be used for construction, $400,000 for the value of the donated land, $400,000 for campaign costs, $400,000 for allowance for pledge defaults and $500,000 from endowments, totaling $5.7 million.
The city donated the former Amtrak station near the police station as the new location for the future 16,000-square-foot shelter.
“We are still working on how the building will be used and what changes need to be done to accommodate for the animals,” Boulton said. “Our plan is to look at how we can divide the space to better serve the animals and the public.”
Boulton also said the sound from the trains passing through the area near the future shelter will not be an issue because the animals have adjusted to the sound with the current location of the shelter.
The new shelter will fix issues the current shelter layout has, including ventilation to prevent illness, insulation for sound, animal unit layout and water flow.
“More space will allow us to build an area where the public can come in and interact with the animals before adopting,” Boulton said. “It will also give us the opportunity to create a green friendly facility.”
The current shelter was built as a city pound in 1978, where animals were kept until they were adopted.
The Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter began operating the shelter in 1996.
Today, the shelter does more than just hold the animals, the FFDAS care and provide animals a place to live and play while awaiting adoption.
Over its 20 years of operation, the shelter has nurtured more than 45,000 animals.
“We just want to continue providing a place for our animals to live, grow and prosper and the new shelter can do that,” Boulton said. “The new shelter will also be a great asset to the community and its residents who come to adopt animals.”
For more information on the new shelter or to donate money for the new facility go to dearbornanimals.org.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)