Not long ago it looked like Dorchester Paws on Highway 78 in Summerville was on its way to getting into a new facility. But things have changed for the only open-admission, no kill shelter in Dorchester County.
It was recently announced that efforts involving a new shelter will have to be reworked. For now, at least for the short term, the focus will be on keeping the current building as pet and people friendly as possible.
In a statement administrators said shelter plans have gone from a “capital campaign” to a “capital preservation.” The issue causing the revision is due to land and a where a new shelter can be built.
“We want to reassure our community that our intention is to build a new shelter,” said Maddie Moore, the Executive Director at Dorchester Paws. “In the meantime we will continue to address the needs of our shelter and do everything we can to ensure we are fulfilling our mission of feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless and protecting the abused.”
The current shelter was built 48-years ago and is undersized and outdated. Shelter administrators said they expect to see a total 4,000 animals enter the shelter in 2020. On Nov. 21 the shelter will close for the day to give the site and building a deep cleaning and begin the job to make it more appealing to visitors and create more room for the animals.
“We are excited to help make sure our shelter and staff are putting our best foot forward in appearances, as it was built in 1972,” said Moore. “We want to ensure that when our adopters come to Dorchester Paws the first thing they notice are our animals, not our building. To do this we will be repainting, preforming basic maintenance, organization, and de cluttering.”
Plans to build a new facility have not come to a halt. Moore said organizers are just having to pivot to remain fluid as work continues with Dorchester County officials and other county leaders to determine where a new shelter can be built.
“Capital campaign funds are not being redirected and the new shelter is still in the planning stages,” Moore said. “Right now, the shelter needs the help of the community to ensure that they’re able to continue operating without another pause and continue providing a standard of care that is unique to each and every animal.”