Special to The Standard
SCUGOG: The Uxbridge and Scugog townships have been working side by side to help support the construction of a new animal shelter.
“I feel that the animal shelter that has been in the municipality since, I’m thinking around 25 years, is almost fully depreciated,” Scugog mayor, Tom Rowett said.
Ginger Jackson, the woman behind the New Animal Shelter for Scugog and Uxbridge (NASUS), got the idea for the new shelter after seeing how old and outdated the current facility is.
“The animals look so sad in there,” Mrs. Jackson said. “If you’ve been to the present shelter. The population of kittens is way down because people won’t take them there.”
She said the current H-vac system, for the mother cats, is unacceptable. “If one cat got upper respiratory problems, they all would.”
Mrs. Jackson also said there is currently no isolation or quarantine for the cats and dogs. However, she said things will be different at the new animal shelter. There is a maternity suite and a negative H-vac system, so all the germs are kept in one area and won’t spread to the other healthy animals.
The new facility isn’t just for the animals; Mrs. Jackson said it’s also for the people that care for them.
“The people that look after the animals there are fantastic,” she said.
“They need a new place. And were going to offer it to them.”
The seven-acre lot of land the facility is being built on, was donated by the Uxbridge township in 2013. Jackson says there is plenty of room to expand if the time comes.
“The mayor of Uxbridge said, when we build the shelter we’re building it for 50 years,” she said. The support from the community, as well as both Uxbridge and Scugog townships, has been phenomenal, according to Jackson.
“Both townships have been at our backs every step of the way,” she said. Originally, the shelter was proposed to be built this coming spring, but in order for the townships to finalize the tender documents in time for construction, the date had to be pushed back to early next year. The tender documents will be released during late summer to early fall of 2017. This gives the townships enough time to finalize and prepare the tender release, which ensures the new shelter will be built at a competitive cost.
According to a 2016 cost analysis, prepared by George Brown College, it is expected to cost in between $1.4 and $1.7-million. The Uxbridge and Scugog townships committed to bridge financing of up to $300,000 at no interest rate, for the construction of the shelter. NASUS is set to payback the township over the next five years but Jackson says she hopes to much sooner through the Major Gifts Campaign. The Major Gifts campaign is a township supported effort, where a cabinet of highly influential people will speak about NASUS and collect donations, according to Mrs. Jackson. Through the campaign, donors will also be able to claim naming rights of certain parts of the shelter, to recognize their contributions. Mrs. Jackson has been planning and fundraising for the shelter for a long time and is glad to finally see a construction date next spring.
“We’ve been in this for six years. To see the light at the end of the tunnel really helps. We know its coming in 2018,” she says.