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SPCA seeks to purchase site for animal shelter

SoVaNow.com / August 21, 2013
Lake Country SPCA is one step closer to finding a new home after Linwood Holt, executor of the estate of Mary Jane Marks Holt, offered to sell the group slightly more than two acres on Highway 15 South next to the Clarksville Municipal Airport.

Before moving in, the SPCA must first have the land rezoned from manufacturing to business use, complete the purchase of the property, clear the land — which sat unused for several years — and then, according to Board member Charlotta Howell, “refurbish the building.”

The land comes with an existing 6,000 square foot metal warehouse that will meet most of the SPCA’s needs, “but we are still working on floor plans, deciding how to allocate the space for cats and dogs, supplies, storage and office,” explained Doug Jones, a former LCSPCA board member who, along with Howell and Board member Vickie Garrett, took the lead in finding a new site. There is also ample room for dog runs behind the building.

Other benefits of the site highlighted by Jones are its location on a primary road, making it visible to the public, and easy access to town water and sewer.

“When we get through [with refurbishing the building], there will be floor drainage for good sanitation, and full air conditioning and heating, making the building comfortable for animals, volunteers and employees,” said Jones.

Earlier this year, the LCSPCA Board realized they’d outgrown the warehouse space donated by Jones at 7577 Virginia Avenue, next to Clarksville Ace Hardware, Jones’ business. Board President Tim Meyer said at that time that the shelter needed an area with grass for walking pets, better space for isolating sick cats and dogs, and separate rooms with larger cages for housing dogs and cats.

The Highway 15 South property meets those needs and more, according to Jones and Howell. In fact, Howell believes the new facility “will enable us to take in more animals for adoption and rehoming.”

As fundraiser for the LCSPCA, Howell cited one more benefit of the property: it will open new fundraising avenues. “It is also important for the LCSPCA to own our site in order to qualify for more grants.”

This fall, the SPCA will kick off its capital campaign, “Give Me Shelter,” to pay for the property and construction work.

Howell expressed thanks for the past generosity of local citizens who have supported the SPCA, but added “now more than ever we need your moral and financial support.

“The residents of Clarksville always understood the responsibility we have for the animals,” Howell said, hoping that their understanding will entice the residents to again open their checkbooks for the SPCA.

Anyone interested in contributing to the capital campaign can make their check payable to LCSPCA, and note that the money is for the building fund. Contributions can be mailed to LCSPCA, PO Box 14, Clarksville, VA 23927, or contact Charlotta Howell or Vickie Garrett for more information.

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