By Carolyn Callahan
The Project Pet adoption agency has been fighting to build a no-kill animal shelter in the Midlands for almost 10 years. Now the fighting has paid off.
"It's been a long and emotional process and its been quite a roller coaster ride," says the Director of Operations Tracy Johnson.
Project Pet and their supporters believe that their shelter will save thousands of pets from being housed in local pounds. According to figures from pounds in Lexington and Richland counties, 30,300 animals have been put into pounds here over the last two years. Just over 27,000 of those animals had to be euthanized.
The plan is to build the 25,000 square-foot shelter on Bower Parkway at Harbison Boulevard. However, there are opponents to the shelter. Opponents at Pets Inc. say the money used for this shelter could be better used for spaying and neutering animals; if more animals are spayed and neutered it would reduce the total number of animals that hav to be sent to the pound in the first place.
"We wish the money had been split up and not spent on $3-million on bricks and mortar," says Joel Osamoski from Pets Inc..
Although there is the oppostion, both Richland and Lexington city councils have already approved the money, and only need to work out the final details with Project Pet for the shelter.
"It's a fantastic opportunity for this area and the Midlands to move forward and ecome a leader in a growing national movement towards these kinds of shelters," said Tracy Johnson.
Project Pet expects to break ground by late April so that the dog days of next summer will be much cooler for thousands of homeless pets in the Midlands.