AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF)– The Aiken County Animal Shelter is being granted over $200 thousand for a new building called the PAWS facility.
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“We had a resolution this evening that granted an additional $210 thousand dollars for additional project work at the Aiken County Animal Shelter,” Chairman Gary Bunker said. “The first project is the adoption center.”
The shelter is on four acres of land packed from end to end with kennels, walking tracks, adoption areas, and grooming stations. There’s one plot of land left to be built on… and it won’t be bare much longer.
“Since day one, we’ve wanted to have a center that’s really for our adoptions,” FOTAS program coordinator, Kathy Jacobs said.
And that’s the main purpose of the PAWS building, which stands for prime learning, adoptions, wellness, and socialization.
“The building is going to be an expensive building,” Jacobs said. “We’re going to have to have adoption rooms, a community room, and a cat room, so the money is going to go directly towards that.”
And Aiken County Shelter has been in need of this facility for years now.
“We ran out of money years ago when we built the shelter,” Jacobs said.
But now, thanks to Aiken County and Friends of the Aiken County Animal Shelter, they will soon have a space dedicated to adoption, training, and bonding.
Shelter workers say being able to introduce families to potential pets in a quiet space will be a game changer for adoptions, because it eliminates distractions.
“It’s really hard to show exactly what kind of spirit this dog has unless you’re able to pull it out, get it away from all the other dogs, away from all the other smells,” shelter manager, Bobby Arthurs said.
To make way for the new building, the current cat condo will be torn down and incorporated into the PAWS center.
“It’s going to be a game changer for us,” Jacobs said.
Arthurs says a timeline has not been set in stone yet, but he excepts construction to begin in the fall.
There will be an additional $50 thousand for a storage facility at the shelter.