Cumberland Times-News

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August 14, 2012

Animal shelter facility in the works

Nonprofit spearheading campaign to raise money for site’s construction

CUMBERLAND — The local nonprofit organization that stepped forward during the Allegany County Animal Shelter’s philosophical move away from euthanasia for animal control announced Tuesday it is spearheading a capital campaign to construct an 11,000-square-foot adoption and care facility near the site of the current animal shelter.

Prior to November 2010, the Allegany County Animal Shelter Management Foundation was primarily an advocacy organization that conducted adoption events, organized feline neuter clinics and purchased vaccinations and Frontline for all shelter animals. The organization was founded in 2000.

“All that changed dramatically with Allegany County’s courageous decision to change the direction of our animal shelter,” said foundation president Tina Rafferty.

“Getting involved in the early days of the transition, our foundation has been become more engaged in the organizing of volunteers and addressing the big challenges of promoting foster and adoption at a much higher volume than before.”

Since the policy change, the foundation has raised and administered $60,000 annually to help defray increased animal housing costs. They organize numerous ongoing fundraising activities, including operation of the Barkin’ Basement Thrift Store in downtown Cumberland.

In February, after concluding a six-month search for a location, the foundation retained award-winning animal care facility architects, Stoiber & Associates.

The Washington-based firm’s principal, Jeff Stoiber, presented plans Tuesday to the Cumberland Rotary Club that featured the development and construction of a new adoption and care facility on land near the current county facility on Furnace Road.

When complete, the complex would be capable of housing approximately 103 dogs and 120 cats indoors in modern multi-purpose facilities designed to aid the adoption process and improve working conditions for volunteers and staff.   

Foundation officials an-nounced Tuesday that they will launch a capital campaign this fall, designed to fund the new facility in two phases.

Phase One of the project is planned to make 7,700 square feet of the new facility operational during 2013. This largest portion of the project will house dog and cat adoption areas and is projected to cost $1.5 million.   

Phase Two will be a 3,300-square-foot extension of the building that is planned to provide critical care facilities for animals needing special medical attention.

The cost of this phase is estimated at $900,000.

The first public portion of the capital campaign will kick off in October with the establishment of a campaign committee goal to raise $1 million from private sources.  

Special building funds, equipment funds and naming opportunities are also being developed.

The foundation has begun the process of partnering with the Community Trust Foundation in the administration and structuring of the capital campaign and future endowment giving.

More information can be obtained about building plans and contribution programs by calling McClarran and Williams Inc. in Cumberland at 301-724-2450.

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