Friends of the Animal Shelter working to raise funds for new shelter

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A rendering of potential plans for a new St. Joseph Animal Shelter.

A rendering of potential plans for a new St. Joseph Animal Shelter.

Hanging up on a wall at the St. Joseph Animal Shelter are renderings drawn up by a local architect of a potential future shelter.

St. Joseph Animal Shelter Humane Educator Jenna Keyes said the Friends of the St. Joseph Animal Shelter have started on their fundraising campaign to buy land and build a new animal shelter in St. Joseph. animal_shelter2

“The Friends have been working very hard on the development stages, knowing what they want, developing fundraising plans, timelines, things like that,” Keyes said. “So now that all of that has already been established, we are in the promotion phase in trying to raise money to go toward the new shelter.”

Keyes said the current estimate is around $5 million in order to build an entirely new shelter in a new location up to industry standards as well as state and federal regulations.

“The reason why that’s so expensive is you’re looking at hospital type quality for these animals,” Keyes said. “Something that’s very sterile, healthy, and also an enriching environment that will benefit the animals during their stay, so that not only will they be physically active, their minds will be well stimulated, and make it a wonderful environment for the community whenever they come to visit as well.”

Keyes said they are also looking to build the new shelter in a different location that is in a more visible area. 

“I am very excited to see it become much larger, be a very inviting environment,” Keyes said. “There’s plans for lots of outdoor play yards for the dogs to get to go and play in… I’m excited for those group housing rooms for the cats as well. It will just be a lot better environment for the animals, for the staff and for the community too whenever they come and visit. What the Friends are trying to do is make a new animal shelter that the community can really be proud of and along with the city’s help we are definitely prepared to do that and working hard to try and raise all those funds.”

The Friends of the St. Joseph Animal Shelter is holding their 3rd Annual Run/Walk for the Paws 5K fundraiser. Participants are encouraged to bring their pets to the race which begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 8th, in the parking lot across the street from Bode Ice Arena. 

For more information about the 5K click here and to make a donation to the shelter fundraising campaign, visit the gofundme page.