2006-01-12 / News

By Barbara Szepatowski

The animal shelter is a go. After one year of planning,

and a lot of help from Jamestown’s animal lovers, the new animal shelter is about to have its official ribbon cutting.

For the past month, we have been lining up contractors who will donate their time and equipment, finalizing the state and local permitting, and begging for building supplies. The only thing we seemed to be missing was someone to volunteer to cut down the three big trees blocking the area where the town will install the water and sewer lines. Finally, in desperation, we requested price bids from some of the local arborists.

The next day, along came William Marsh, who asked why nothing is happening with the shelter. Well, darn if he isn’t a licensed arborist who will do the work as a donation. To finish the deal, in a conversation with Brian Dutra, he offered to set up his chipper and provide us with an idea of where to dispose of the mulch. The grand total saving — $2,300 to $2,800.

This week we are cleaning out the shelter building, making way for the start of the interior construction.

Interim Town Administrator Thomas Tighe has provided us with a mega dumpster for this task and for the tree waste. We expect the trees will be taken down within the week. As soon as that is completed and weather is permitting, the next two tasks to commence will be the installation of the new roof, with three beautiful sky lights, and the connection of water and sewer lines to the building. Both of these major tasks will also be completely donated. Once these tasks are completed, we will be ready for volunteers to help with the interior work.

I am still holding the February 2006 Valentines Week as a possible opening date. Insane? Maybe. But this Thursday evening, the Friends of the North Kingstown Animal Shelter are meeting to put together a plan to help us. This offer came through because in 2003, 60 volunteers, most of whom were from Jamestown, rebuilt the North Kingstown shelter in one crazy, round-the-clock, four-day weekend.

So, not only do we have a tremendous outpouring from our own townspeople, but now we will have additional helpers from North Kingstown to ensure our shelter will open.

Having spent the last seven months on the Town Council, I have had the opportunity to take a closer look at our town government and how it works. This education reinstilled what a great town we have, and what wonderful people are employed as town workers.

Although I am very excited about the new Town Administrator Bruce Keiser starting work next Tuesday, I cannot say enough about how great it has been working with Interim Town Administrator Tom Tighe. Tom has made the shelter process a reality, and many a time he also provided the push that was needed to get us over the major hurdles. His attitude was “stop worrying, it will happen”.

So, Tom, thank you from the bottom of my heart. And I would like to show my appreciation by bringing you a beautiful basket of older cats.

Only kidding.

The Jamestown Humane Society, PawsWatch, and many of our fine citizens have been fostering Jamestown cats for a long time. Every week we will showcase some of them. Sadly, with kitten season approaching, the older ones don’t have as much chance for adoption. I like the older cats better because they are finished hanging from the ceiling, curtains and whatever else looks enticing. Being a big dog lover, I have to say that the older cats seem more like lap dogs. At present, there are some fabulous older cats — 1 to 5 years — looking for homes. All are spayed or neutered, and up to date on shots.

Please see the ad the Friends of the Animal Shelter has on the back page of the Jamestown Press for this week’s highlights. Foot, the cat who had his paw amputated, had been caught in some type of trap. Please understand it was not a coyote trap. Foot will need special loving care to regain his trust. But he is a great cat. Dr. Wurth of the Jamestown Animal Hospital completed the surgery and told us that animals adapt very well to the loss of a limb. So, if you have the time and the patience for this cat, he will be ready to pack his bags in 10 days.

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