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Ground broken on new animal shelter
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Helping celebrate the ground breaking for the new animal shelter were, from left, Cindy Ward, Dwayne Ward, Alderman Gayla Hendrix, Hector Flores, Marsha Darrah, DeKalb County Mayor Tim Stribling, David McDowell, Sue Puckett Jernigan, Smithville Alderman Jason Murphy, Joyce Poss, Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss, Dr. Hugh Don Cripps, Mike Foster, Jim Wood, and Sue Wright.


The DeKalb Coalition the Humane Treatment of Animals held a ground breaking Thursday at the future site of new animal shelter behind Tenneco Automotive in Smithville.


Coalition President Marsha Darrah said that the new structure would not have been possible without the help of local government.


“We just have so many people to be thankful for who have helped with this. We especially want to thank our city mayor, our county mayor, the Smithville Board of Aldermen, our county commission and all the volunteers without whom we could not have done any of this,” Darrah said.


Sue Puckett Jernigan, a coalition member, said that the construction is on track, and that coalition members will see the task to the end.


“We are really happy about this and we’re looking forward to the finish date,” Puckett-Jernigan shared. “We’re going to see this to the end. This is going to succeed.”


The City of Smithville and DeKalb County donated $75,000 each to be used for the construction of the new 4,000 square foot shelter, which will sit on four acres near the new county solid waste transfer station in the Smithville industrial park. Puckett-Jernigan said that funds and volunteer workers are still needed to complete the inside of the facility, however.


“We still need donations and volunteers because we will be running short on funds,” she said.


“We have Paypal for those of us who are techies,” Darrah interjected. “For those who aren’t, we have a post office box. That’s box 354.” Those who would like to volunteer or donate may also contact Darrah, Puckett Jernigan, or any other member of the coalition.


Coalition member Jim Wood said that the group’s Resale Store on Walnut Street in downtown Smithville is open on Fridays from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.


“Anyone can stop in there and volunteer to help us out or look around and see if there is something in there they can’t live without. There’s all sorts of things in there people have been donating, and you’d be surprised at the number of things that are available that we’re practically giving away. I mean these are yard sale prices, so just come in and see what you can find,” said Wood.