Group still working for new animal shelter
Last month they were known as "those people who want to build a new animal shelter in DeSoto." This month, they have an official name.
The Kaw Valley Regional Animal Shelter Association has filed for non-profit status and will soon begin its campaign to raise money to build a new regional animal shelter.
Board member Joan Silver has been with the group since it began several months ago. Silver said it's taken a lot of work to get this far, and they've yet to begin any serious fund-raising.
"I hope it's like getting a great big ball up a hill and once it's at the top, it will gain momentum," she said.
The move to build a new shelter began last summer when a group of residents became concerned with the city's current situation. The city has little money in its budget for an animal shelter, and makes due with a small building on city land.
"The shelter is so small that (animal control officer) Ann Davis can't keep them there very long," Silver said. "She does her best to find a place for them in area shelters, but when she can't, they have to put the animals down."
Ultimately, association members want to build a large shelter with dog runs and an exercise yard. In the meantime, Silver said, they would do what they could to make things better at the current shelter.
"We have a long-term goal and a short-term goal," she said. "In the short-term, we want to improve the shelter they have now. We want to expand it some, although there's not enough room to add much."
Silver couldn't say how much money the group would have to raise to build a new shelter.
"We really haven't gotten that far yet," she said.
Because this is the first time most of the group has undertaken such a project, Silver said they have sought the help of professionals.
"We've gotten some help from the Lawrence Humane Society and the Wayside Waifs Animal Shelter in Merriam," she said. "They all realize the need we have here."
The next step for the association is spreading the word.
"We're in the process now of getting a brochure together, telling who we are and what we're about," she said. "We hope to have it out within a month or so."
Anyone interested in joining the association or in donating money can contact any of the board members, Silver said, including herself, Richard Fry, Max Atwell, Mary Manly and Bob Allison.