Vote ‘yes’ for shelter

There are only so many pieces of the pie to go around and everyone has a different idea of what the city needs to spend money on. Schools, safety and roads are some of those priorities that take precedence. But when voters head to the polls Nov. 6, the time has come (and some would say is long overdue) to approve bonding the money to build a new Shelton Animal Shelter.

Question 4 on the referendum will ask voters to approve bonding $1.4 million for the shelter. We encourage residents to vote 'yes.'

A bipartisan group of residents, acting as the Shelton Animal Shelter Building Committee, have been working for six years, trying to find a city-owned piece of property that will work for a shelter, navigating a long list of state regulations and drawing up plans for a modern facility that is cost-effective. They've succeeded. All of us in Shelton appreciate a good deal and this is a good deal. The 6,000 square foot facility is about five times larger than the current 1,500 square foot shelter and would have cost more than $3 million if the Public Works Department had not agreed to help with some of the work.

The new shelter will have the capability to take in cats — something the shelter is unable to do now. The dog kennels will be enclosed, but provide visual distraction for the dogs inside. The front entrance of the shelter is designed to fit in with the residential area. The shelter will have a living room-style area for adoptions and a conference room for teaching.

The building committee wants education to be a part of the shelter's purpose, teaching kids and even adults about pet overpopulation, responsible ownership and more. Education can improve the quality of life and safety, for everyone, because if people learn about the importance of spaying and neutering there are less strays in the city.

In The Herald's weekly Adopt-a-Pet section, we see the same dogs again and again from Shelton's Animal Shelter and we can't help but think a new shelter would encourage more adoptions for those homeless pooches, whose sad-looking eyes look out from the page, again and again. The current shelter, built in the 1970's, has failed state inspections several times and just can't serve the purpose it needs to anymore. For anyone who has traveled to the current shelter, it's not hard to see that it doesn't seem like a welcoming place to find a family pet.

But as Gerry Craig, Chairman of the Shelter Building Committee says, those animals do make amazing pets and they deserve that chance.

Vote yes on Question 4.