The Norman Transcript

Government

November 5, 2013

Phase 1 under way as demolition makes way for new construction

(Continued)

NORMAN —

“We calculated out what had to be Phase 1 and Phase 2 during the construction project,” Maisano said.

After looking at several options, it was decided that the animal welfare center needed to remain operational and that it was most feasible to tear down the smaller, though newer, structure first.

During the planning phase, Maisano said his family would often look over the project with him. In particular, his daughter, Sara, loved the idea of a sun porch for the cats. But as the project developed, costs came in higher than had been anticipated and the cat porch was eliminated.

Sadly, Sara was murdered June 27. As the Maisano family sought ways to heal, they remembered how sad she was when she heard there was not enough money for the cat porch. The family decided to give back to the community and started a campaign to raise the funds for the cat porch in Sara’s memory.

Norman responded generously, making the cat porch a reality for the upcoming facility.

Phase 1 construction should take about 150 days, Maisano said.

Animal Welfare Supervisor John Bowman said right now, with 20 less cages, space is tight, but volunteers have worked hard to promote animal adoptions during the construction period.

“Phase 1 will get us back into the new center,” Bowman said. “I’ll have more than 70 kennels when Phase 1 is done and then that number again when Phase 2 is done.”

Meanwhile, volunteers are keeping the shelter open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays for adoptions.

Bowman said November is Black Dog Month and black dogs can be adopted at the discounted rate of $25 versus the usual adoption fee of $60. The dogs still will have vaccinations, be spayed or neutered, have a city pet license and have been tested for heart worm and ehrlichia infection.

“Black dogs historically are the hardest to adopt,” Bowman said.

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