A $43,000 expansion at Creston city pound began last month and is expected to help solve the longstanding overcrowding problems at the facility.
This expansion is exciting news for Janel McLain and Marion Wagner of Creston who began lobbying for improvements at the facility in August 2010.
“I’m elated,” McLain said. “It’s a good feeling to know there will be better conditions for the animals and for the volunteers who work at the city pound. I wasn’t going to give up on this project. I’m thankful the city saw the same problems I did and we were able to work together to find solutions.”
The city of Creston is paying for most of the project. They’ve allotted $35,000 toward the project. McLain and Wagner raised another $8,000 via fundraising.
After approving funding for the expansion, the city contacted Mycale Downey — director of Creston Animal Rescue— about the project because Downey spends the most volunteer time at the facility.
Upon consulting her, McLain, Wagner and other committee members for the project — the city discovered the biggest problem at the facility in the past has been lack of space to house the impounded animals.
The current city pound — located southwest of McKinley Lake — is “about the size of a one-car garage” estimated at 400 square feet. That lack of space has caused overcrowding problems whereby animals had to double up in kennels or were forced to be caged outside — sometimes in extreme weather conditions.
“That caused a lot of unneeded stress on the animals,” Downey said.
The new expansion will help solve the overcrowding problem. The expansion includes a pole building constructed over the top of the existing building which will increase the total square footage inside from 400 to 850 square feet.
The new space will allow for two new dog kennels, storage closet for food and medications and office space for volunteer workers.
“This project is a long-term solution for the pound,” Wagner said. “One of the best improvements in this expansion — in my opinion — is now we will be able to separate the cats from the dogs.”
Other improvements in the new expansion include a new, bigger hot water heater, improved heating and cooling system, updated electric “so fuses won’t blow” and extra space in the yard for the animals to run.
Also, a concrete pad will be poured outside the facility where a kennel — with a sloped hard top roof — will be placed so dogs can be housed outside when weather allows.
The contractor for this expansion project is Matt O’Riley Construction of Creston.
O’Riley and his crew are in the beginning stages of construction. The posts for the pole building have been set in concrete and trusses are ready to be placed.
O’Riley said he will work on the project as weather allows this winter and the project should be completed in the spring.
“This is a fantastic project,” Downey said. “The space we have now is tiny. Right now, we do adoptions in the doorway on a TV tray. I'm thankful for this project. It will make it better for everyone involved — for the animals, volunteers and animal control workers."