By Sarrah Peters
Early this year, Rainbow City official s faced a dilemna with its animal control services. The services had been contracted to a local veterinarian, but the contract was about to end. The city found that there would be a hefty price increase if they continued to use those services. Officials looked into using other facilities for animal control services, but found none had the capacity to help. So, the city decided to build its own shelter.
According to Police Chief Jonathon Horton, the city awarded the bid to build the shelter, which would be located at 4450 Steele Station Road next to the Life Saver Helicopter location, to Greer Construction for $569,000.
After delays due to the bad weather last week, the city of Rainbow City broke ground on its new animal control facility on Tuesday, April 11.
“We really hope to be in our new facility by end of June 2017,” said Horton.
To provide animal control services until the new facility is up and running, the city has received a helping hand from the Humane Society Pet Rescue and Adoption Center. The original contract was set to expire on May 31, but Horton says that the stay may be a little longer.
The City of Southside has contracted with the Rainbow City Animal Shelter, and will provide a shelter employee. Currently the Etowah County Animal Shelter is providing animal control services to the city of Southside while the facility is built.
Horton said that the new facility will open with the ability to house over 100 animals. The shelter plans to have its own adoption center, which Horton says will “help re-locate lost animals with their owner and find ‘fur-ever’ homes via adoption to other suitable citizens and northern rescues.”
“A lot of northern states that have strict spay/neuter laws will come and accept animals to adopt out up north,” said Horton.
The shelter also wishes to utilize all tools it can to prevent euthanasia, including social media.
“We have reached out to local vets to find necessary vet services when needed at discounted rates,” said Horton. “We plan to actively educate the public concerning animal care and to develop a progressive spay and neuter program to reduce feral cat population.”
Little Bridge Marina will host a concert to benefit the Rainbow City Animal Shelter on April 19 from 6 to 9 p.m.
Local musician Evan Walker will provide entertainment. He donated his time and talents to help the shelter.
Donations, including money, pet food, blankets and kennels, will be accepted at the door.
To donate items, contact Animal Control Officer Andrea Willet at 256-312-7383 or the Rainbow City Police Department at 256-442-2511.
“Little Bridge Marina will be open for business as usual, so please come enjoy a meal and some good music,” said Horton.