In 2011, a group of dedicated animal lovers from Delta County took over day-to-day operations of the Delta Animal Shelter after budget cuts closed the original county-run facility. The newly-formed nonprofit group made a number of changes, most notably the adoption of a no-kill policy.
“Since taking over operations we have saved over 3,000 animals in Delta County,” shelter manager Susan Gartland said.
Now it’s almost time for the shelter to make one more big change…moving into a new facility. The current building suffers from many problems, from mold to electrical issues and, possibly worst of all, intermittent loss of running water.
“We come in every day wondering if we’re going to have water or not,” Gartland added. “With a hundred animals on site any given day, it is very difficult to clean and just take care of the facility without running water.”
While donations of bottled water from the community have helped to keep the shelter clean and hydrated, the need for an improved facility cannot be overlooked. A large donation from the John & Melissa Besse Foundation helped get the ball rolling.
“We purchased a property on County Road 426, and phase one was complete last fall, that was the foundation well and septic, so we are in phase two right now,” said Gartland.
The Delta Animal Shelter hopes that this new facility will improve the experience for the animals, the volunteers, and the community.
“One of the misconceptions is that we’re just building a larger building to house more animals, and that’s absolutely not true. We are building a safer shelter to house the animals. The conditions for them while they are housed with us will be a little bit nicer,” Gartland said.
“The dogs will have better facilities. They will have more space to run,” shelter volunteer Jennifer Sylak said. “The cats will have awesome new facilities. It will be more up to date so we don’t have to deal with broken doors and things that don’t always work properly here, and it will just be great for the animals.”
The new shelter will serve more aptly as an adoption center, with bathing and grooming areas, a procedure room, and countless other features to improve the comfort and functionality for animals and visitors alike. The Delta Animal Shelter plans to move into their new home in November.
For more information on how you can donate or volunteer, visit their website.