Davis: New shelter to be ready by 2009

Published 12:03 am Friday, June 6, 2008

NATCHEZ — Recognizing a need for drastic changes at the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society’s shelter, two locals have stepped up in big way to help secure the shelter’s future in the county.

Vidal Davis and Dan Bland donated two acres of land that will one day facilitate the society’s new shelter.

The land, near Copiah-Lincoln Community College, is valued at approximately $100,000.

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Bland said donating land seemed like the right thing to do.

“It’s about to break my heart,” Bland said of the shelter’s current condition.

And Bland is not the only one who has recognized an undeniable need for a new shelter.

Shelter manager Pat Cox said the shelter is in terrible condition.

“It’s old and falling apart,” she said.

In fact the current shelter was never meant to be a shelter at all.

Former president of the Humane Society, Linda Harper, said the building was originally an office or office storage building.

The building was converted for the Humane Society’s needs in 1982 and has been operating as such since then.

The land the shelter sits on now will likely be sold with the proceeds going to the new build fund, Cox said.

And Cox said not only is the shelter in poor condition, it’s also too small to accommodate all its occupants.

“We’re just in dire need of a bigger facility,” she said.

And the newly donated land will hopefully make that dire need obsolete.

Davis said he spent much of the past year traveling the South visiting other animal shelters to find a design that would best suit the needs of the Adams County area.

“We wanted to get some ideas that would work well here,” he said.

In addition to donating land to the project, Davis is also on the building committee that’s spearheading the effort to build a new shelter.

Davis said the society currently has about $120,000 in the bank to put toward a new shelter.

“We’re going to need about $750,00 for the shelter,” he said.

Davis said he hopes to see the shelter up and running by spring of 2009.

Private donations and fundraising efforts should make up the difference needed in funding, Davis said.

Davis said he’s also working on a cost analysis that would break down the cost of each room on a per-room basis.

“If a person wants to donate a kennel in someone else’s name, they can,” he said.

And while Cox said the humane society will be forever grateful for Davis and Bland’s donation, the two are quick to note they were not alone in their actions.

Bland said his children have donated their rights to a portion of the land and Davis said his business partner, Conner House, also donated his rights to a portion of the land.

But Bland said no matter where the donation came from, it’s important that project is moving in the right direction.

“We need a safe place for these animals,” Bland said. “It’s something we have to have.”