The Simpson County Animal Shelter, like many small municipal shelters across the country, is crowded and noisy. Our shelter isn’t beautiful nor spacious, but a lot of loving work gets done for the abandoned, stray and unwanted pet population here in Franklin. With the work of employees and volunteers at the shelter and with some amazing support of the community, our shelter is increasingly rebranding itself as an adoption center. One hash-tagged comment we’ve been seeing in the past months on our Facebook page, that we are now using as our tagline, is #thelittleshelterthatdoes. We are proud of that because every single person who is involved with the shelter truly does care and works hard to ensure that the animals are adopted or assisted by a foster-adopt rescue group. The shelter is getting things done and wants to do so much more.
A major challenge that the shelter has is not having enough space for our dogs to be seen and visited with comfortably. As a result, our dogs are not getting as many eyes on them as they should, nor do we have the space for volunteers to come visit with and socialize with the dogs on a regular basis. We want to change that.
We want to construct a covered structure away from the main shelter building that will be a secure, comfortable and inviting area for our shelter dogs to be off leash during adoption meet and greets, interaction with volunteers for socialization and basic training, adoption events and programs that could be implemented such as “Reading to the Dogs” by local children. This planned structure that we are calling the PETIO, will provide this much needed space. The PETIO will be constructed on property adjacent to the shelter that will be accessed by a paved walkway constructed of concrete and 12” x 12” engraved pavers. The Petio itself will be a large, covered structure on a foundation of concrete with fencing enclosing it that will allow for dogs to be safely off-leash with visitors and volunteers.
The Friends of the Shelter has a ambitious goal of raising $20,000 for this project. Any additional funds raised, or funds not needed for the PETIO, will go toward improving the fencing surrounding the outdoor play areas of the shelter. The existing fencing is pieced together in places, isn’t as sturdy as it needs to be and is in great need of improvement.
A variety of fundraisers will be taking place. The sale of engraved 12″ x 12″ pavers that will be used in the construction of the PETIO walkway will be done with Polar Engraving. Any individual, business or organization anywhere in the country can purchase a paver to use in the project. 4″ x 8″ memorial bricks can also be purchased for individuals to use at their home, garden, etc. We will be taking orders soon. The large pavers won’t be delivered to us until the contractor is ready to install the walkway. The bricks will be delivered to us for pickup by the donors-purchasers of the bricks locally here at the shelter. The pavers will be delivered to us when the contractor is ready to install the walkway.