Warehouse To Become State Of The Art Humane Society - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

01/26/05

Warehouse To Become State Of The Art Humane Society

The Humane Society of South Mississippi says converting an old warehouse into a spacious, state of the art animal shelter is an investment to make life a little better for unwanted animals. The $4.5 million shelter will replace one that's more than 50 years old, and just can't meet the society's needs any longer.

Shelter Worker Kyle Alsleben says, "It's gonna be 100 percent better than what we deal with - rats, cockroaches, roof leaking, stuff falling apart. Every day there's something new that's falling apart that needs to be fixed."

Staff members already had in mind what they wanted to do with all this extra space even before the building was a done deal.

"We used to come down to this building while we were waiting for the funds and permits, everything that we needed. We used to come down and just walk around and say, 'This is the adoption area. This is the office.' So everybody's excited, the entire staff," says executive director Pat Bushman.

There is a lot to be excited about - 35,000 square feet to devote to animal care and education programs that will be offered to school children.

Society Board Member Eric Aschaffenburg says, "All of the animals will be in air conditioned surroundings. There will only be two to each kennel. Right now we have four and five and sometimes, terribly, six so they'll be less crowded. We'll be able to groom them and be able to take better care of them so they're more appealing for adoption."

Once the shelter opens, the staff hopes to increase adoptions by 50 percent. More spays and neuters will be performed too in the 6,000 square foot surgical clinic.

J.W. Puckett of Gulfport is the contractor. The building is expected to open its doors in ten months.

byMarcia Hill

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