PRINCE GEORGE, VA (WWBT) - The Prince George County animal shelter is described as outdated and too small. Animal control officers say more often than not the shelter operates above capacity.
"In 2008 we had an estimated at 825 animals. In 2009 it was about 1,300. I expect that number to increase significantly with the population increase in the county," said Anthony Conner, animal control officer.
The current shelter has seen better days. It's nearly 30 years old.
"The current building behind me isn't up to state code as far as what's required for care of the animals here. We have paint chipping off the walls inside the building which isn't good for the animals," said Conner.
To help solve those problems the county is moving forward with plans to build a new $1.3 million animal shelter. It will be twice the size of the current one. County leaders say more space means more help for animals in need.
"We have selected a site and are in final negotiations with the landowner at this time," said Vice Chairman , Jerry Skalsky.
The proposed site for the new facility is along Route 460 in the county. It will be more visible to the public than the present shelter.
"This shelter is somewhat secluded. I'm sure there are some people who don't know it's back here. The new shelter will be more accessible," said Skalsky.
Despite being in a recession county leaders say this is the best way to spend the funds.
"We believe in adopting out every animal possible and getting them into a home and without a new facility that makes this job much more difficult," said Conner.
The new shelter is expected to be up and running by the end of the year.