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Community leaders break ground on new, much-needed Blackfoot Animal Shelter

Community leaders break ground on the new facility. | Logan Ramsey, EastIdahoNews.com
BLACKFOOT — A long-awaited and much-needed facility is coming to Blackfoot.
Leaders in the Blackfoot community joined with Blackfoot Animal Shelter and Rescue Thursday for a groundbreaking ceremony of a new animal shelter that will replace the existing facility.
“We put a lot of our blood, sweat and tears into this and waited for this to become a reality,” said Amanda Cevering, the director of the Blackfoot Animal Shelter.
The existing animal shelter has been in use for over 20 years, and has deteriorated so much to the point where a new building makes the most sense.
“The shelter is very dilapidated, and needs a lot of repair, and the repair would cost more than a new building,” Cevering said in an interview with EastIdahoNews.com.
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On top of that, there’s not enough space for a quarantine area for new animals and no method to prevent the spread of disease among the population. There’s also no designated area for volunteers and no area for the prospective pet owners to engage with an animal they might adopt.
The current shelter, located at 199 Frontage Road, is only 1,600 square feet and often has to operate at above the building’s full capacity. The new shelter, to be built at 2397 Teeples Drive, will offer 5,500 square feet once it’s finished, which is more than double the size of the original.

Amanda Cevering (second to the left) stands alongside the Blackfoot Animal Shelter and Rescue board. | Logan Ramsey, EastIdahoNews.com
Rather than be run by the city, the shelter is ran by Blackfoot Animal Shelter and Rescue, a non-profit organization. As a 501(c)(3) organization, the shelter could potentially receive grants that a city facility couldn’t receive. According to Mayor Marc Carroll, this is why former Mayor Paul Loomis and the city council at the time turned it into a non-profit in 2017.
“They (would be) free to get all this money rolling in. It never happened,” Carroll said in an interview with EastIdahoNews.com.
And in the meantime, the shelter deteriorated and continued to not meet the demands of the community.
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In last year’s budget, Blackfoot had a little over a million dollar under run in the city budget. When trying to decide where these funds should go, Carroll decided that the animal shelter had to be made a priority.
Carroll brought it forward as an action item to put $500,000 towards the new animal shelter at the February city council meeting. The council voted to approve the funding unanimously.
“Usually when we’re talking about an unbudgeted expenditure, there’s good discussion back and forth,” Carroll said. “The four council members were unanimous, ‘Yes, we need to do this’.”
The rest of the funds received for the shelter has come from a variety of sources, notably from Blackfoot businesses Premier Technology and Spudnik Equipment Company.
While the funds the city provided will be enough to build the building, the shelter is still looking for donations to fully stock it’s interior. Cevering said the building would have a donor wall once it’s completed.
Once completed, Cevering said the new building will be able to hold more animals, and give them a better ability to meet the community’s need. The shelter will be able to take in more stray and lost animals, and then hold them for longer while they seek proper homes or return them to their owner.
“The dogs will love it. I’m sure that their emotional state will be better. I know ours will,” Cevering said.
Carroll said that he hasn’t heard negative feedback from the community on the new shelter.
“When I run into people at Walmart or out on the street, invariably, they’ll say, ‘Hey, that’s a good idea on the shelter. We’ve needed it for a long time’,” Carroll said.
The target end date for the completion of the facility is in September, and the city’s contractor hopes to start sometime in June or July.
For people who want to donate money towards the completion of the building’s interior, they can donate to the shelter on it’s Facebook page, website or they can donate in person.
Cevering is thankful for anyone who donates to the shelter.
“Thank you doesn’t seem like enough. Our sponsors have gone above and beyond to help us and they continue to do so,” Cevering said. “We are just extremely grateful for that. We couldn’t do it without everybody.”
The post Community leaders break ground on new, much-needed Blackfoot Animal Shelter appeared first on East Idaho News.
Source: eastidahonews.com

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