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Humane Association working to build stand-alone shelter


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The public dog park run by the Petersburg Humane Association will be the home of a new standalone shelter. PHA is currently raising funds for an 8-foot by 40-foot structure (shown in concept) by selling commemorative bricks, which will be used to line a path to the shelter.

The Petersburg Humane Association (PHA) is doing a big push to raise funds for its first stand-alone animal shelter.

The organization was established 15 years ago in Petersburg to shelter stray cats and dogs and find permanent homes for them. They also provide scholarships to help offset the cost of spaying and neutering and work to educate the public on issues related to companion animals.

To date the PHA and its volunteers have been sheltering homeless cats (and more rarely dogs) in makeshift shelters on volunteers' private property.

"We're in the process of shifting from having a really make-shift (shelter). It's a shed that's got an extension cord for light and a trailer that we're using the office part for cats," said Merrily Jones who is heading up the shelter fundraiser for PHA.

PHA began leasing the land now known as the dog park in 2010 and has been working since to raise funds to establish a permanent facility to shelter animals on that land.

"Our whole goal is to make life better for companion animals, and while sheltering is part of it, it isn't all of it. But it's an expensive part of it," Jones said.

Jones said about $30,000 is needed to complete phase one's 8-foot by 40-foot structure at the dog park. So far $20,000 has been set aside in a building fund.

To raise the remaining $10,000, PHA staff are selling commemorative bricks.

"The bricks will be used to line the path up to the shelter," Jones said.

Each brick comes with an inscription which can be used to commemorate a pet, advertise a business or anything else a donor would like to inscribe.

About 30 bricks have been purchased so far by donors. Jones is encouraging people to donate soon in order to effectively double their contribution through a matching grant.

"Right now we have a matching grant, so the first $5,000 will be matched up to the 15 of September," she said.

PHA is aiming to move the six cats they currently care for over to the new structure in the spring of 2015.

The new shelter facility is the first step of a long-term goal to establish and improve shelter facilities for stray pets in the Petersburg area.

"This is going to be an ongoing campaign. We're just trying to get it started with some nice bricks to line the path and to have enough money to pay for this first phase," Jones said.

Individuals who would like to learn more or donate can call Merrily Jones at 772-3136

or visit http://www.thatsmy


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