Animal shelter plans tweaked
By Amy Lavalley Post-Tribune correspondent August 18, 2012 7:20PM
Updated: September 20, 2012 10:31AM
PORTAGE — Plans for a new animal shelter in Porter County continue to take shape, with an announcement Saturday that Lakeshore PAWS is offering to purchase land from the county for a new facility, rather than having the county donate the land.
Jeanne Sommer, co-founder and executive director of Lakeshore, outlined some of the plans during an event for International Homeless Animals’ Day event at Countryside Park. Lakeshore sponsored the event, meant to highlight pet overpopulation, with the Kibble Kitchen Pet Pantry and CPR Fund Rescue and Adoption.
Lakeshore and the Porter County Board of Commissioners signed a letter of intent in June, under which Lakeshore would provide shelter services to the county under contract.
Under those terms, Lakeshore would pay for the shelter and the county was going to donate the land. Sommer, however, said Lakeshore is willing to purchase that property, 5 acres of a 25-acre plot the county owns at the intersection of Indiana 149 and Indiana 130. The land has not yet been appraised.
Lakeshore recommends that animal control build a new facility next to the new shelter, on the county-owned part of the property. Animal control, a separate entity from the shelter, was to be located at the old shelter, at 2056 Heavlin Road.
“The animal control facility will be a lot less than what they were going to spend on an entire shelter, clinic and adoption center,” Sommer said. “So it will still save the taxpayers money from the original plan.”
Lakeshore merged earlier this week with the Humane Society Calumet Area, though they remain separate entities, and Sommer said the two groups will come up with a proposal to provide shelter services to the county.
Additionally, Lakeshore has agreed to pay the county the last payment on plans for a new shelter drawn up by the consulting firm Shelter Planners of America, so Lakeshore can get those plans.
Shelter Planners has estimated the cost of a new shelter at $2.9 million. The facility would serve the county as well as rescue groups and the rest of the region, Sommer said. The no-kill shelter also will have a clinic for spay and neuter services.