Animal shelter groundbreaking is Tuesday

Published 3:00 am Saturday, February 6, 2016

Tuesday brings a groundbreaking event that is “eight years in the making.”

At 10 a.m. that day, representatives of the City of Troy, Pike County Commission, Humane Society of Pike County and the Pike Animal Shelter Coalition group will host a public groundbreaking ceremony for the state-of-the-art animal shelter being constructed on Henderson Highway.

“This is eight years in the making,” said Chris Schubert, president of the Pike Animal Coalition. “We started with $15 and what we wound up with … is a classic case of the city and the county governments and the residents coming together to make this happen.”

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A centralized, state-of-the-art shelter for dogs and cats was the dream of volunteers who formed the Pike Animal Shelter Coalition nearly 10 years ago. They raised nearly $150,000 and secured the donation of land on the Henderson Highway for the shelter to be built.

The Humane Society of Pike County, long established in the county and dedicated to its mission of spaying and neutering stray animals, and the City of Troy both had operated smaller, focused shelter locations, neither of which served cats.

When the groups pooled their resources – $150,000 plus the land from the shelter coalition; $100,000 from the humane society – the City of Troy agreed to take the lead on the project, providing funding for construction and operation, and the Pike County Commission agreed to provide nearly $85,000 in in-kind services.

“A lot of people have worked for a long time to make this happen,” said Jack Rainey, a longtime volunteer with the Humane Society. “It’s going to become a reality and a very nice animal shelter for the Pike County residents.”

Once completed, the shelter will include more than 40 runs; separate spaces for cats and dogs; an observation room; a small treatment area; and central offices for animal control officers. Construction will cost about $800,000 and should take six months to complete.

Both Rainey and Schubert stressed that the shelter is truly a community effort.

“The money from the Humane Society and the Animal Shelter Coalition came from schools kids with nickels and dimes to some big donations,” Rainey said. “It’s truly a community shelter.”