Pittsylvania County breaks ground on long-awaited new animal shelter

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PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY (WSLS 10) - Work has already begun inside the old Piedmont Chevrolet dealership to turn it into the county's new $3.24 million animal shelter.

"The project goals for the design of our new shelter parallel the input we heard from our tax payers," County Administrator Clarence Monday said on Thursday afternoon as he spoke to those gathered outside the dealership.

The county's current shelter is extremely overcrowded and that has led to a high euthanasia rate.

Pittsylvania County SPCA Director Catherine East, who has been a driving force behind getting the county to build a new shelter, said she is relieved to finally see this day come to pass.

"The SPCA of Pittsylvania County looks forward to working hand in hand with the county's new shelter manager and staff and providing clean habitats and quality care for the animals," East emphasized. "It is truly like the sun coming out after the storm."

The county is working with the Community Foundation of the Dan River Region to raise money to help offset the cost of the shelter and to pay for future expenses.

In August, prior to awarding the bid for the work to build the new shelter, some questioned whether there were actually people willing to donate.

Thursday, that question was answered.

"We already have a pledge; one for $50,000 from an anonymous donor," said CFDRR Executive Director Debora Dodson. "We also have a donation," Dodson continued as she pulled out a check. "A $10,000 check from Elton and Sue Blackstock."

There is still a lot of work to be done before the shelter is ready to open and Board of Supervisors Chairman Jessie Barksdale wants the community to get involved as much as they can.

"I encourage citizens throughout the county to take an active role in this project," Barksdale said as he spoke at the ceremony.

Work is expected to take eight to nine months to complete.

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