Dorchester Paws Eager to Find New Pet Shelter in Summerville Area on Orangeburg Road | News


The biggest issues Dorchester Paws currently face are installation and maintenance issues, as well as constant overcrowding.

In order to address these issues, the shelter is trying to raise funds to build a new facility and hopes to achieve its goals through a fundraising campaign released in February 2019.

Dorchester County has already contributed $ 1 million and the shelter is trying to raise more funds to reach its goal.

Dorchester Paws Acting Executive Director Maddie Moore said when the fundraising campaign kicked off it was more of a “private burden” that had just been finally made public.

The shelter moved from Frances R. Willis SPCA to Dorchester Paws in 2017, and Moore said shelter officials quickly realized that the shelter move was becoming more urgent.

Since September 1, Dorchester Paws has been forced to close the shelter three times due to flooding.

“At Dorchester Paws, shutting down means denying animals that need them while staff operate in ’emergency mode’ which means we pile up sandbags, shovel puddles that form in our kennels. and hallways in minutes, enlisting our First Defense Fosters, and skeletal shifts to ensure animals are taken care of during storms, ”said Moore.

Hurricanes and major storms often mean that the shelter’s entire dog and cat population must be placed in temporary foster homes or transported to other shelters. Moore said the condition and perception of the building creates a ripple effect, as families who visit hoping to adopt a pet see it as “a depressing refuge” and decide to look elsewhere.

{p class = “p”} “Often times, they make these judgments even before entering the door, which often means our pets never get a chance to meet these potential adopters. Perception of Potential Adopters is another direct cause of a longer length of stay for some of our animals, often leading to deterioration of their mental health, deterioration of their kennels and their loss of hope of finding their second chance.

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In addition to the flooding, Moore noticed cracks and crumbling kennel walls around the animals they are meant to house. Tens of thousands of dollars have been spent fixing buildings instead of caring for animals.

{p class = “p”} “The land itself is not in a desirable location and is difficult to notice,” she said, “therefore, we cannot gain more potential adopters Above all, the shelter needs adopters in order to be able to carry out its mission of helping homeless animals in Dorchester County.

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The shelter continues to see an increase in the number of animals brought in each year. Moore said they expect to total over 4,000 animals this year; last year they had 3,725 admissions and in 2018 they reached 3,270.

The county is working with MB Kahn and the subcontractor, Boomerang Design, directly on the design of the project.

The current shelter was built in 1972 and has 80 dog kennels and 103 cat lockers. Moore said Dorchester Paws wanted the new shelter to be able to house so many animals while still having the space to provide programs to the public.

“While the plan is not to build on a bigger campus, the idea is to provide more strategic housing and ensure that the facility has the space to provide more public services,” she declared.

Dorchester Paws hired the Winkler Group for a mid-campaign evaluation. Moore said the consulting firm has drafted a detailed case statement and will help the shelter contact supporters to help raise more funds.

“The feasibility study will help us determine our timeline and whether or not our goal is achievable,” Moore said. “Can we afford to have more kennels, bigger play areas and more accommodations, or do we need to cut down on items on our wish list?” They basically come into the community to express our needs to the appropriate audiences. “

In June 2018, when Dorchester County Council adopted its budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year, council members unanimously approved a $ 1 million contribution to Dorchester Paws.

“To us, their investment (of council members) is a reflection of the good spirit and faith that Dorchester County has in our community shelter; our relationship is based on an equal investment in the welfare of the animals in our community, ”said Moore.

The county pays the contractor and his consultants directly instead of paying the contribution directly to Dorchester Paws.

In addition to the $ 1 million, the county also purchased the land for the new campus located on Mallard Road for $ 525,000.

In November 2019, the county received four statements of qualifications in response to a solicitation for design-build services for the new Dorchester Paws campus, county spokesperson Tiffany Norton said. In March 2020, the county reached an agreement with MB Kahn for design-build services. Phase 1 costs $ 200,600 and includes preliminary planning and delivery of design and construction documents. So far, the county has paid MB Kahn $ 90,050.

The county owns the land and will own the new facility. Dorchester County will contract with Dorchester Paws under a Facilities Use Agreement. The non-profit organization will continue to manage the organization, but will not own the property and therefore will be exempt from the costs associated with ownership.

The county will also continue to pay Dorchester Paws its monthly payment for the provision of animal shelter services to the county. Dorchester Paws is responsible for raising the remaining funds. The shelter is expected to raise around $ 2 million in addition to contributions from the county.

While Dorchester Paws is a private 501 © animal shelter (3), the shelter has a county contract and provides services for the animals that animal control brings.

Norton said the county would like the new shelter to provide a “more comfortable and friendly environment” that is more conducive to animal adoption.

County officials also hope that with the new facility, adoption rates will increase dramatically and that the shelter, along with the Animal Control Division, will have more support to meet the needs of the community.

The county is “excited about this opportunity and the continued partnership with Dorchester Paws to provide service to our county and its citizens,” Norton said.

Residents can donate to the campaign at https://dorchesterpaws.org/capitalcampaign/, where they can also see the proposed layout, naming opportunities, pledge forms and more. They can also send an email to [email protected] or [email protected]

In the meantime, Dorchester Paws welcomes promotional opportunities from residents, as well as pet food and cat litter.

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