Tenants moved to new BARL facility

Published 6:00 am Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Brookhaven Animal Rescue League opened the doors of its newfacility Wednesday, welcoming its four-legged tenants – all 58 ofthem – into their state-of-the-art accommodations.

The last of the dogs had been ushered into their pens by 11 a.m.and it became business as usual. Beth Adcock, a BARL volunteer,administered monthly doses of de-wormer and heartworm preventativesto the canines.

“This morning was sort of anti-climatic because we’ve been overhere for six months working to get this place up. But the houndsare out of the mud finally,” said BARL volunteer Billy Mitchell.”This has been 15-20 years in the making.”

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Mitchell, who has been instrumental in the planning, designingand construction of the site, applied the finishing touches to thecat room Wednesday morning, attaching carpet to a cat walk thatwinds around the upper walls of the screened porch and installing alarge tree trunk in the corner.

The 3,000 square foot site includes an office, cat area, doggrooming room, 14 indoor/outdoor kennel runs, 10 indoor kennels,three large outdoor dog runs and three-quarters of an acre offenced property to be used as an exercise area.

Although the center currently houses 55 dogs and three cats, 50dogs and 30 cats is the desired capacity for the shelter.

Five additional kittens, which are currently at a localveterinarian being spayed and neutered, will join the otherssoon.

The new building does not accommodate many more animals than theold location did, Mitchell said, but it does allow the organizationto board its own cats. It also offers an attractive and sanitaryplace for people to view animals, hopefully increasing theirchances for adoption.

Those were the two main goals of the new location when planningand grant-hunting began several years ago, said BARL volunteerRusty Adcock.

“The dogs have better living conditions. They’re not outside inthe weather, they’re clean when people come to visit and they havea better chance of being adopted,” Rusty Adcock said.

Beth Adcock said the facility should pay for itself within a fewyears since BARL will no longer have to pay area veterinarians toboard the cats. She estimated a $25-$35,000 savings per year.

Funding for the center’s construction, which began in June,included monies from fund raisers, private donations andgrants.

The largest grant of $25,000 was presented by the FrancesMcDonough Animal Care Fund, a New Orleans organization thatprovides grants to small animal organizations to help with start-upcosts, Beth Adcock said.

As the dogs and cats settle into their new dwellings, BARLvolunteers continue preparations for a Grand Opening Celebration ofthe new adoption center Friday.

Community residents are invited to stop by the facility from 3-6p.m. at 501 North Park Dr. to meet the pets available for adoptionand view the new center. Dogs will be dressed in appropriateholiday attire – Christmas bandanas.

Representatives from the Frances McDonough Animal Care Fund areexpected to be in attendance.

BARL’s adoption fees are $50 for dogs and $40 for cats, whichincludes spaying or neutering, vaccinations and microchips.