OUR OPINION: Financial support for animal shelter still needed

Help continue the momentum to build a new municipal animal shelter.

The existing Jefferson City Animal Shelter on East Miller Street is aging, cramped and incapable of meeting current needs. Under a contract with Cole County, animals outside the city limits also are sheltered in the municipal facility.

After lengthy discussions and planning, the city now is seeking bids for construction of an 11,000-square-foot facility that will include surgery, exam, office and meeting space, as well as indoor and outdoor kennel runs.

Community supporters of the project have organized as Friends of the Shelter to raise donations as part of a public-private partnership.

The group rang out 2010 by attaining its interim goal of raising $200,000 – two thirds of its ultimate target.

“We have been working right now for about three years,” said Jackie Fischer, organization president. “Our original goal was for $300,000 and this little goal we had set for the end of this year was $200,000 and we’re going to do it.”

Canisters on display at a number of area businesses perhaps are the most visible aspect of the fundraising effort.

“We’ve been doing that for the past year and that, alone, has brought in $24,000,”Fischer said, adding, “that’s a lot of pennies.”

The group has additional activities planned in the coming year. They include a trivia night, a 5K walk/run and allowing members of the public to purchase memorial trees, bricks and kennels.

The shelter’s friends are excited and motivated by the assistance that allowed them to attain the 2010 goal.

This year, help push them over the top of their ultimate goal.

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