New animal shelter

The Leflore County Humane Society’s new animal shelter on Cypress Avenue near Baldwin Road is expected to be completed by December.

Construction of the Leflore County Humane Society’s new animal shelter is well underway.

A metal frame has been erected for the 6,200-square-foot facility on 4.25 acres at the end of Cypress Avenue near Baldwin Road.

“It is going smoothly, beautifully,” said Aubrey Whittington, president of the Humane Society board.

Although a groundbreaking ceremony was held in January 2017, work did not begin until April, when unstable gumbo soil was removed 5 feet deep and replaced with more suitable soil.

The new shelter will have space for about the same number of animals as the 150 housed at the current location. In addition, the new shelter will   have a lobby for educational purposes, a quiet room for mother animals and their litters and a separate intake and outtake center for receiving and adopting animals.

Whittington said the new shelter will need more employees than the current one, which has only one director and a part-time assistant.

The need for the new shelter is pressing. The current facility was constructed in the 1970s, and “the building we’re in is falling apart,” Whittington said.

Also its location on Ione Street is near the site of two sewer collapses since 2018.

For several months last year, an above-ground bypass sewage line on Ione ran past the animal shelter, taking up part of the shelter’s parking lot while the sewage pipe underground was being fixed.

A recent cave-in of another underground sewage line on Ione Street has again required the use of an above-ground bypass line.  

Whittington said construction of the new shelter is expected to be completed by December.  

Contact Gerard Edic at 581-7239 or gedic@gwcommonwealth.com.

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