Dixie Adoptables has BIG news! As you may recall, our current shelter building is just not sufficient for our needs. Over the past few months we have been looking for an existing building or a new location to build on, but the city has been urging us to stay where we are. We have reservations about building a new building on their property, but after discussing our concerns with city officials, they have agreed to build us a new shelter building at our current location and are taking bids to have it constructed. This is a game-changer for us. The new building will give us the ability to start using the beautiful Mason kennels that we have had in storage for a year and have been anxiously wanting to get assembled and into use. It will also allow the animals more group play which is pivotal to keeping their spirits up while they are with us. Additionally, it solves the ongoing sanitation, sewage and electrical problems which have plagued the shelter since we took over operations. Having a new, much larger building will also greatly increase our ability to take in and care for animals who otherwise would have nowhere to go until we can find them new homes. While the city has agreed to pay for the slab and building, which is a significant commitment on their part, Dixie Adoptables is responsible for everything else. We will need to pay for all of the plumbing (which will be a LOT!), complete wiring of the building, interior walls and doors, insulation, heating and cooling system, assembly of the kennels, and much more. This is a large commitment on our part as well, but by building the interior ourselves, we will be able to configure it exactly as we need it to make the most of the available space. Our plans also call for completely rebuilding the drainage and plumbing systems. Currently the kennels drain through common open drains that pass through each kennel which is very unsanitary and easily spreads viruses and bacteria throughout the facility. Until now we have had to just make the best of it and spend extra time sanitizing and cleaning, but it is impossible to really make it sanitary. Our new kennels will each have their own sanitary drain which will run above the slab, making it easy to find leaks and problems with the plumbing. It will be far easier to keep the kennels sanitary and prevent germs from spreading between them. Compare the ease of maintenance this will give us to a recent problem we had with the sewers. A main sewer line had become plugged from leaves and trash being washed in from the recent hurricane (Zeta) and we had no choice but to fix it. It was causing dog waste to back up into the kennels with the dogs and preventing us from being able to clean, so something had to be done immediately. Because it was on a weekend soon after a major hurricane, we were unable to get a plumber out on such short notice, so we realized that we had to fix the problem ourselves. We rented a motorized drain auger and spent hours trying to clear the clog. When that failed, we decided we would have to open up the pipe, but it was underneath a concrete sidewalk. We rented a jackhammer and started breaking the sidewalk up. Several hours later, we were able to dig the sewer line out and disassemble it to remove the debris that was causing the problem. We then had to repair the line and make the sidewalk safe for our employees. This was not a professional plumbing crew doing the work. It was three women who work at the shelter with little plumbing experience but a lot of determination. After this experience, we are really looking forward to having a sewage system that doesn’t require this kind of maintenance and knowing that we will be able to spend our time caring for the animals instead of running a jackhammer! The goal of housing these precious animals in a new facility with sanitary, safe kennels is finally becoming a reality. These sweet babies will be able to wait for their forever home in a climate controlled, sanitary, healthy environment and our employees will not be cleaning inside, not outdoors in rain, cold, and whatever else mother nature hands out that day. Your ongoing support is making this possible, but a lot more needs to be done. The building will be constructed over the next couple of months and we will need donations to install wiring and plumbing, purchase a central heating and cooling system, and build and finish walls. We will be doing as much of the work as we can ourselves with employees and volunteers, but many things will have to be done by licensed contractors to comply with city building codes. It is going to be expensive to do, but well worth the cost. If you haven’t donated towards this project, now is the time to consider taking that step to help us make this long-standing goal a reality. If you have donated, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts and ask that you consider making new donations to help us get this exciting project done.