1. Do we really need a new pet adoption center?
The average age of an animal shelter in the U.S. is 15 years. Our current shelter is 52. It does not meet state standards and cannot be effectively renovated due to its deteriorated condition and small space. On average 2500 animals pass through our 1500 square foot shelter annually. The majority of those animals are euthanized within days of arrival. How animals are treated in a community says a lot about the character of its citizens. A new low kill shelter will bring Marshall up to the standards of our neighboring municipalities with whom we compete for attracting new citizens, new business, and economic development to our community.
2. Why is the cost so high?
Designed to withstand the rigors of housing thousands of pets, animal shelters and adoption centers are more expensive to build than comparable commercial or residential buildings. This is because most animals that come into shelters were never vaccinated or properly cared for. Therefore, they are either infected with communicable diseases or more susceptible to catching them. Many of these diseases, such as parvo (dogs) and panleukopenia (cats) are deadly and cannot be cured.
To prevent this, an animal shelter must be built with highly specialized features. These include the following:
• Separate HVAC systems to prevent the spread of airborne diseases
• Plumbing that can handle the waste of dozens of animals
• Seamless, disease-resistant flooring and walls that will not harbor deadly diseases
• Individual, sanitary kennels and cages
• Properly equipped veterinary facilities for shelter animals and spay/neuter surgeries
• Sealed-off isolation rooms for the treatment and healing of sick animals and the quarantining of suspected rabies cases
Building an animal shelter is more like building a hospital than a house.
3. How will the new pet adoption center facilitate better care and more adoption opportunities for animals?
A larger facility will allow more time to prepare animals for adoption. It will also allow volunteers to assist city staff in reaching out to individuals, other shelters and other adoption and rescue organizations to locate homes for shelter animals. Many parts of the country are asking for shelter animals, but currently we do not have the time or space to arrange transportation or adopt out these animals.
4. What about construction cost overruns?
The contract the city negotiated is a fixed price contract. Cost overruns will be the responsibility of the builder unless the city has agreed to a change order.
5. Why was the location on Travis Street picked?
Shelters and adoption centers need exposure to the public. Having a location on a well-traveled road will allow the Marshall Pet Adoption Center to raise public awareness of the animals available for adoption and to make known the needs of the shelter.
6. Will spay and neuter facilities be included in the new Marshall Pet Adoption Center?
Yes. A spay and neuter medical area is a critical part of the new facility. An aggressive spay and neuter program is essential to change the cycle of unwanted pets.
7. Are there other benefits to a new facility?
Yes. So many!
Low kill shelters are eligible for national, state and private grants to assist with operational costs.
The new shelter will allow the city to implement the same programs that have proven successful in achieving low kill status in our neighboring cities and across the state and country.
Corporate donors often support communities with low kill shelters.
Low kill shelters attract exponentially more volunteers. This free labor will help reduce the cost of operating the shelter.
8. Are donations tax deductible?
Every donation is needed, appreciated, and tax deductible!