dog

A major hurdle was cleared on Monday night for the future of a new animal shelter in Chatham.

Former councillors Art Stirling and Marjorie Crew, the chairs of the animal shelter fundraising committee, provided a presentation to council seeking their support to launch a $2 million fundraising campaign to build a new facility.

“The current shelter has been there since 1974,” Crew said. “It is worn down and in need of repair. It is not a place where we should be putting our vulnerable animals.”

Council approved the recommendations for the $2 million “Friends of the New Animal Shelter” fundraising campaign to construct a brand new municipally-owned shelter at the current location on Park Street in Chatham.

Stirling said the new shelter is long overdue.

“I feel there is a moral obligation to provide a better facility,” he said. The current site “is not fit for man or beast.”

Reports say the committee hopes to complete the fundraising campaign in 12-18 months.

Included in the recommendations, council approved up to $10,000 from the strategic development reserve to cover upfront marketing costs associated with the campaign launch.

They also gave their approval for an ongoing lifecycle budget of an estimated $25,000 once the shelter is completed.

Chatham Coun. Bob Myers agreed the new facility is long overdue.

“This is about a decade overdue,” he said. “The facility has become an embarrassment.”

An official campaign launch will be announced at a later date.

Anyone interested in donating can call the Municipality at 519-360-1998, stop in any municipal centre, or visit: www.newanimalshelterck.com