ELIZABETHTON — After years of planning, fundraising and lobbying local governments, work has finally begun on the Carter County Animal Shelter.
Landmark Construction is the general contractor for the project, which is scheduled to take 120 days, not counting days when the weather conditions are not conducive to work.
On Wednesday, the first subcontractor was on the scene. Mill Creek Construction Co. was doing the site grading and site utility work.
Chris Deaderick, general manager of Mill Creek Construction, said his crew was scheduled to be on site for nine days, preparing the ground.
Animal Shelter Director April Jones said she was thrilled to have the shelter finally under construction.
“I stopped in the road and took a picture, I was so excited,” Jones said Wednesday.
“I have only been here a short time, I can’t imagine how some of the people who have been working on this for 10 years must feel.”
Jones said funding for the $500,000 project came from both the Carter County Commission and the Elizabethton City Council and by several years of fundraisers. The Animal Shelter supporters raised more than $100,000, Jones said.
“Those people had to work really hard to get that much money,” Jones said.
The designs for the shelter were done by Joey White of Reedy and Sykes Architects.
Jones said White’s design will make a more attractive building in which people can come to adopt pets and a safer place for the animals.
Unlike most shelters in the area, including the Johnson City shelter, she said the new shelter will have walls to separate the dog kennels. She said this serves several purposes.
“The dogs can’t see other dogs in front of them, so they won’t be barking as much,” Jones said. “The walls will also help prevent cross contamination.” That is because when a dog sneezes or coughs, the germs can’t get past the walls to other dogs.
The facility will also be more comfortable for humans. There will be a lobby and a special room for adoption counseling.
The new facility will also feature a more attractive entrance and easier access to make it more inviting for people to come to the shelter to adopt a pet.