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Closer to home: Exterior of new animal shelter nears completion

Ashley Barnes, 10, right, pets Roxey while Natchez-Adams County Humane Society employee Rodrika Savage holds Zora and Jake. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Ashley Barnes, 10, right, pets Roxey while Natchez-Adams County Humane Society employee Rodrika Savage holds Zora and Jake. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

By Catherine Boone

The Natchez Democrat

NATCHEZ — Animals at the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society will soon have a larger space to call home.

The exterior shell of the humane society’s new building, which was built by Morton Buildings, is now 90 percent complete and should be finished as soon as next week, said NACHS Board President Kathy Fitch and Vice President Sue Stedman.

After the exterior is finished, the focus will move to the inside of the building, and Jan Scarbrough of Meadville will work to complete the rooms and place kennels.

Stedman said the organization hopes to move into the new facility in May.

The animal shelter’s new home, inset below, on Liberty Road is now 90 percent complete. The organization hopes to move into the new facility in May. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

The animal shelter’s new home, inset below, on Liberty Road is now 90 percent complete. The organization hopes to move into the new facility in May. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Construction of the $1.4 million building, which will be located on Liberty Road, near the existing shelter building, began in December 2014.

The building is 6,510 square feet and has 877 square feet of exterior covered area. William R. Dagget Jr. of Charlottesville, Va., served as the architect for the building.

Dagget’s primary architecture is designing veterinary clinics and animal shelters, Stedman said.

The shelter will be built to house 31 dogs, 21 puppies or small breeds and 51 cats. The shelter will also have rooms for puppies under 10 weeks, an isolation room for sick animals and a display room where cats can play, climb and socialize with one another.

Other facilities at the new building will include a receiving and grooming room, an observation room, a treatment room, a multipurpose room and an office.

The human society hopes to increase its adoption rate with the new, spacious and clean building, Fitch said.

Although the humane society will be moving into the new location this spring, they still need to raise nearly $400,000 to cover the costs of the new building.

One way the humane society plans to raise the funds is by letting people “purchase” the new kennels and cat cages, said Stedman.

Those who purchase a kennel will have their name on a plaque above it, noting that the kennel was given in their honor. People can also purchase kennels in memory of loved ones, Stedman said.

The humane society is still pricing kennels, but once finalized those will be published on its website, which can be found by visiting natchezpetadoptions.org.

The humane society’s thrift stores, Paws For A Cause, as well as numerous fundraisers throughout the year, will also aid in covering the remaining costs of the building and the yearly operating costs of the current shelter, Stedman said.

“While we are building the new building, we are still trying to take care of a census of 125-175 animals each day,” Fitch said.

Stedman was quick to thank community members for their support.

“(Our income) comes from the generosity of our local residents,” Stedman said.

The City of Natchez and Adams County also supports the humane society financially, but that amount only accounts for about 20 percent of the shelter’s yearly operating cost, she said. All other funding comes from donations.

Donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 549, Natchez, MS 39121. Checks should be made out to the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society.

Food or supplies can be dropped off at the current humane society at 392 Liberty Road on Tuesday to Friday from 2 to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Those who wish to adopt an animal are encouraged to visit natchezpetadoptions.org.

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