NEIGHBORS >> Cabot shelter breaks ground
Leader staff writer
The groundbreaking in Cabot Monday marked the end of a long wait for a new animal shelter that has been requested by animal lovers there for more than five years.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Mayor Stubby Stumbaugh said about the year-long delay in getting started that was the result of the council refusing to rezone the site on Kerr Station Road where the old shelter is located. “It’s just sad that so many animals were needlessly killed.”
Over the past year, the shelter has euthanized as many as 100 dogs a month, he said.
The new, $500,000 shelter will hold more animals so space constraints won’t force the city to kill so many. Also, it will be built on First Street on the grounds of the Allman-Bevis Sports Complex where the hope is high traffic will lead to higher adoption rates.
When the new shelter opens in about nine months, it will have a room where prospective owners can get acquainted with animals they are considering adopting.
It also will have a room for impounding cats, which means the city’s four-year-old ordinance requiring residents to control their cats wanderings or risk having them picked up will finally go into effect.
Over the years, the city has collected about half the money needed to build the animal shelter.
A small amount came from fundraisers but most came from the city general fund.
The original plan was to build the shelter in stages, but Alder-man Eddie Cook, convinced the council that it would be better to include money to complete it in a sales tax extension approved by city voters in September.
Stumbaugh opposed the tax (which also will completely pay for a sewer plant, and help with the costs of a railroad overpass and the new community center) because city voters were promised five years ago that the tax would sunset.
But he said Tuesday that he is pleased the tax will allow for a better animal shelter and despite the year delay and more unnecessary deaths of animals, he is glad the shelter will finally be built in a place where unwanted animals will have a better chance of finding a home.