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Perry in need of new animal shelter | News

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Perry in need of new animal shelter
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The staff at Perry's animal shelter says they are concerned about the well-being of the animals because of conditions that keep getting worse.

A task force goes before city council Monday to pitch a budget estimate to build a new shelter.

Cathy Shaw walks through the kennels, greeting her "babies."

She has been a loyal volunteer at the Perry Animal Shelter for the last two years, but she's one of few.

"Nobody wants to come down here and volunteer," she shrugs, and says it is because of how run-down it is.

Dogs are in outdoor kennels all year.

"We have one fan that's supposed to cool the dogs all summer long," Shaw says. "Whenever it rains, the water comes down the hill out there and floods the kennel."

In the cat house, they say the floor is sinking down, and it is not properly ventilated.

A rat snake made an unwelcome appearance in one of the kennels.

Animal control officers say they are drawn to the rats that sneak in and steal the animals' food.

"There's always different priorities, as every community knows, you have to deal with," says city manager, Lee Gilmour. "Consequently, this is now moved to the top priority for council to deal with."

He says the problem has been on their radar for several years.

"It got some traction in the last year and that's what prompted the mayor and city council to form this task force," explains Kenna Scragg, one of the task force members.

He helped build the Macon-Bibb animal welfare shelter.

The task force explored different avenues about what to do with the facility. They thought about partnering with the Warner Robins Shelter or getting rid of the service altogether. Ultimately they decided building a whole new facility was their only option.

"I think a lot of the citizens of Perry don't realize, one, we have an animal shelter, and, two, what kind of condition it's in," Shaw says.

Rusted kennels, improper drainage, the list goes on.

Even if it is not their forever home, volunteers say something needs to be done to make sure the animals are safe and healthy.

Mayor Jimmy Faircloth says the budget will help decide their next steps on a new shelter.

He acknowledged that it is time "to stop putting a band-aid" on a major issue in their community.

Faircloth says the budget will determine how they move forward.

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