For years, Pamela Green has wanted to build a better shelter for the animals at the non-profit in Calverton. After decades of making temporary fixes to the aging property, Green said the time is now to make an upgrade.
Kent Animal Shelter will soon start a fundraising campaign to raise $2.5 million to build a new 10,000 square foot animal shelter on the current shelter's property.
Green said the new shelter would feature state-of-the-art facilities, more than double the room for dogs and cats, a separate room for puppies, a community room for school visits and education trips, soundproofing in the kennels and an area for potential owners to interact with their pets.
"What this'll help us to do is make this a nice place for the public to come and to adopt a healthy pet here, and provide a healthy environment for the pets here as well," Green said.
A new facility would also allow the shelter to offer more services to the community, she added, such as the spay and neuter clinics and adoption services.
Green hoped to have raised the money within the next two-years, so that the new facility could be up and running within three years. While the proposed shelter was being built, the animals would be kept in their current kennels and then moved to the new indoor building once it was complete.
The current dog kennels date back to the original construction in 1968, while the spay and neuter clinic building was built 37 years ago in 1974. Green said the shelter is doing all they can to repair the constantly decaying buildings.
"Unfortunately, now it's just putting Band-Aids on this, Band-Aids on that," she said. "There's only so many things you can do to fix a concrete building up."
The current push to build a new privately-run shelter at Kent comes on the heels of a campaign started by a Riverhead woman on Monday That publicly-funded shelter would hold a less than half the animals of Kent's proposed upgrade.
Green said she realizes that now is a difficult time to be asking for donations.
"It's going to be difficult in the current economic climate to get there [the $2.5 million benchmark]," she said. "But I know we can do it."