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Dorchester Paws faces setback in plans for new shelter

Photo: Getty Images

By Danielle Seat and Riley Bean | October 22, 2020 at 6:56 AM EDT - Updated October 22 at 9:31 AM

DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - The Dorchester Paws animal shelter says they are having to change plans after they recently found out that the land where they were planning to relocate has too much wetland.

Leaders with the organization say that the land is unusable as it is and to build on it would cost an additional $1.5 million.

The shelter says they might be back to square one in trying to figure out where they can build the much-needed replacement for their 50-year-old building.

The section of land given to the shelter by the county is at Mallard Road and Orangeburg Road, but officials say it would require a new retaining wall in order to support the new facility.

Dorchester Paws Executive Director Maddie Moore says this $1.5 million wall is not feasible with their budget.

Between Dorchester County and the shelter, Moore says they are budgeting about $3.5 million. $2 million of which, the shelter says they are planning to raise and $1 million the county will be contributing.

In addition to funding concerns, Moore says the wall would give them less space on which to build. She says this would cut the number of kennels in half, and leave no space for the planned expansion. Moore says the community has been asking for this expansion to host things like community events and birthday parties.

“Being a no kill shelter, as well as Dorchester County just continuing to grow in population, having that limit of 40 kennels just isn’t feasible for a 40 year plan or even really a 5 year plan,” Moore said.

The county and the shelter say they are back to the drawing board, brainstorming ideas as to where and how to make this shelter happen.

Moore says they will be attending the next county council meeting to discuss this further.

In the meantime, Moore says Dorchester Paws is in desperate need of fosters and adopters because the shelter has too many animals.

Dorchester Paws says while their present structure has 80 dog kennels and 100 cat kennels, they have 200 additional animals in foster homes. They say 30 of the 200 are dogs, and the rest are cats and kittens.

Dorchester Paws is a no-kill shelter, and this fall Moore says kitten season has yet to slow down. There is normally an influx of kittens in the summer months, but she says the number of kittens brought in every week has not slowed down.

Moore says fostering a cat or dog is a quick and easy process.

“Dorchester Paws provides all the supplies - the litter, the kennel, the food, toys. We just need you to provide the home,” Moore says

Dorchester Paws says they are also conducting a survey to get the community’s input on the feasibility of building a new shelter. They say it’s a 10-question survey asking Dorchester County residents what they need. For example, does the county need a public spay and neuter clinic?

The deadline for the survey is Monday at 5 p.m.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Photo: Live 5 New

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