Multi-million dollar animal shelter in the works for Dothan

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -- It's been talked about for years, but the idea of a new animal shelter in Dothan is now more than just a discussion among city leaders.

Dothan community leaders have launched a public-private partnership involving stakeholders to create a state of the art rescue home for Wiregrass pets.

“I think it's high time that we all take a serious look at how we take care of our pets, the welfare of pets, reducing these euthanasia rates to as close as zero as we can, and adopt as many of these rescues as we can,” says Dothan police chief Steve Parrish.

In July 29 cats were killed by pit bulls who shared boarding in the Dothan Animal Shelter some placed blame for the tragic event on the outdated facility.

“It's a horrible thing that happened we were working on this several years prior to this,” says Parrish.

A focus group was formed a year before the incident to find a resolution for the current animal shelter that's in disrepair.

The Wiregrass Pet Rescue and Adoption Center project was the end result.

“We're finally excited to say we have the interest and we have the push and the support from the city commission and others to move this project forward,” says Parrish.

The project board has narrowed down the home of the future center to three locations. Two are on Ross Clark Circle.

“The focus group wants this center to be at the forefront. The whole concept is to make this a friendly location where we can embrace our rescue community cats and dogs, and we can have people come to our city to find a pet for our home,” says Parrish.

The good news is that they already have some money from a fundraiser held three years ago.

“We are going to take $21,000 out of the Dothan Police Foundation funds that are ere marked for that new shelter and we're going to put that in there and that's going to be tee in the ball and we're going to have a $20,000 head start,” says Parrish.

But with a $5 million price tag, making it happen will depend on a community effort.

The nonprofit status of the center is being reviewed.

In the meantime, those interested in contributing to the center can do so through the Dothan Police Foundation and receive a tax reduction.