Chesterfield County Council voted unanimously Sept. 4 to purchase a piece of property along Hwy 9 for the purpose of expanding and improving the facilities of the Chesterfield County Animal Shelter.
Chesterfield County Councilman Douglas Curtis said the purchase price for the county is $125,000.
“This is prime real estate. The property alone is worth that investment,” said Curtis. The two-acre property, on the Chesterfield side of L & M Antiques on Hwy 9, currently houses two separate buildings that “are turn-key ready,” he said. One building is 8,000 square feet and the other is 1,500 square feet.
Chesterfield County Councilman Frank Plyler, who is the chairman of the Animal Shelter Committee, pointed out some of the advantages of the location. Not only will it be convenient for local residents, it will be much easier for out of state rescue workers to access, he said. And, it is already fenced.
The new space will not only offer advantages to the animals, it will provide more office space as well. The current office is in a small trailer, or mobile home, parked near the shelter facility. “If you get two people in there it’s crowded,” said Tim Eubanks, director of public works for Chesterfield County.
“We’ve been needing more room for a long time,” said Plyler.
Eubanks said having more room to spread out would also allow the facility to separate sick or ferocious animals from other animals in the shelter’s care.
“I say we’ve made great strides,” said Councilman Eddie Rivers, to improve the situation of the animal shelter. He also made reference to the fact the county has recently been relieved of a court order to do so, and has been given “a clean bill of health” from Eddie O’Neal of the South Carolina Humane Society.
In March of 2011, news that 22 dogs had been shot, rather than euthanized, at the Chesterfield County Animal Shelter made national headlines and landed the county with a court order from South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson. Since then, several changes have taken place, including the administration of the department.
“I say this is another step in the right direction,” said Eddie Rivers, “And if Mrs. Kimrey were here today she’d be jumping up and down!”
Nancy Kimrey, to whom he referred, and several other animal rights activists and animal rescue volunteers, were part of the agenda for County Council’s monthly meetings for nearly two years, as the plans to fix problems at the shelter were corrected by policy and put into place.
“I agree the visibility would be a lot better at this location on Hwy 9,” said Chesterfield County Council Chairman Matt Rivers, “but in the end, it will help the animals.”
— Staff Writer Karen Kissiah can be reached by calling 843-537-5261, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.