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KPFL continues work on building

by Canda HarbaughWestern News
| August 4, 2009 12:00 AM

Though work on the new Kootenai Pets for Life animal shelter in Libby has experienced delays due to funding and volunteer shortages, the organization moved forward Friday in fulfilling its agreement to take over housing, medical needs and adoption of all county animals.

KPFL volunteers had hoped that their new Libby shelter would be ready in time to take in the dogs and cats, but instead the last of the county animals were transported to their Troy shelter Friday, a month later than scheduled. 

The Libby shelter still has much finishing work to be completed inside and out, and the organization decided against moving the operation until the last doggie door is installed. 

“We have made the decision that we want to do this right. It needs to be done when we move in,” said Judy Hyslop, director of the KPFL animal shelter. “We have discussed getting parts of it done and trying to move in, but it’s not a good idea because when we get in here we will be functioning.”

The City of Troy owns the land and building that KPFL currently operates out of, and though KPFL was supposed to be out by April, the city has not rushed the move.

“The animal control officer said, ‘You can stay as long as you want to,’ because once we leave, they will have to do all of the transporting,” said Eileen Carney, KPFL president.

There is no formal plan yet for how stray animals in Troy will be dealt with, though Carney expects that Animal Control will bring dogs and cats to the Libby shelter when it is up and running.

The new shelter has already benefited from thousands of dollars in donations and thousands of volunteer hours, but many more are needed.

“It’s just putting the things in place,” Hyslop said. “Everything takes more (time and money) than we thought.”

This week a contractor is installing the flooring and the county is spreading six dump trucks full of gravel over the parking area.

The Libby shelter still needs volunteers to perform work such as installing baseboards and trim, sinks, cabinets and flooring. The gutters have also yet to be installed, and landscaping is on KPFL’s to-do list. Money is needed to fund contractors for projects such as installing fencing and putting up siding.

Though volunteers are hesitant to estimate a move date, Hyslop has one major goal in mind.

“We do not intend to be driving to Troy this winter,” she said.  

In addition, the KPFL shelter is nearly at capacity since emptying out the county shelter, and is in need of loving families to adopt a pet or provide foster care.

“We want people to know we have little kittens and they are darling,” Hyslop said.

Carney added that the dog kennels are full and KPFL had received a call about collecting two more.

To volunteer or donate, contact Deena Roe at 293-1412.