The DeKalb Animal Coalition for the Humane Treatment of Animals will soon begin fund raising efforts now that the group has been approved as a 501 (c) 3 charity organization.
During a meeting Thursday night, the board members discussed reaching out to city officials and county commissioners for their support, but they also plan to seek grants, tax deductible donations from the public, and possibly have special events to obtain the money needed to build and start up a new animal shelter.
"The first thing we have to do to get it is to have a fundraising program, " said Board Chairman Marsha Darrah, in an interview with WJLE. "We have already been in touch with the city and some of the county officials. Both city and county mayors are behind this and we're very excited about that. It's a very cooperative effort. We're hoping that we will get funds for our building from the city and the county but we know we'll have to supplement that. They can't do everything," she said.
The Coalition's goal is for the county to have a permanent and safe location for neglected, abandoned and abused animals; to provide an alternative low-kill policy so these animals receive medical attention, reduce overpopulation, and be cared for until they can be placed in permanent homes.
Tentative plans are to build a facility near the site of the future solid waste transfer station, behind Tenneco off of Highway 70 east. "There is some property that is apparently going to be available but we are waiting because that has to be proposed to the county commissioners and our city aldermen before anything definite can be done. But I think we have a good start with that. As for the building I think we're going to need at least 2,500 to 3,000 square feet. We have looked at other kennels and buildings to see just exactly how things are arranged," said Darrah.
The Board will meet again Thursday night, July 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the county complex and the public is welcome and encouraged to attend and participate. " We want this to be a community project. I think there are a lot of people who are interested in having a well run animal shelter and the only way to get it is for all of us to get behind it and work," Darrah said.
You may contact Marsha Darrah at 615-597-6138 or David McDowell at 931-260-1693 with any questions or feedback. In addition to Darrah, other members of the Coalition are Sue Puckett Jernigan, Dr. Hugh Don Cripps, David McDowell, Renee Ferguson, Jason Ray and Smithville Alderman Jason Murphy.