GREAT FALLS — On Wednesday, the Great Falls Animal Shelter broke ground on what will be a new cattery.
The project was funded by donations from supporters of the shelter, which totaled more than $400,000.
While the new space does not have a projected completion date yet, employees of the shelter are already getting excited about how it will impact their lives and, more importantly, the shelter cats’ lives.
“The cattery is going to be a healthier living situation for the cats that come in. It will be a better living situation,” said Volunteer Coordinator Karen Hockenberry. “The litter boxes will be in a separate compartment, things like that, so they feel a bit more comfortable in this new environment.”
The money for the project was raised through a campaign called “Help Us Grow” or H.U.G. This is the first large-scale project to begin thanks to the money raised by H.U.G., but shelter workers are confident that it won’t be the last.
“The HUG project does not stop at the cattery. We are still wanting to keep going,” explained Hockenberry. “Phase Two is the office remodel so that we can get this remodeled to even further help the customers when they come in so it’s not quite so small. It just keeps going. Phase Three is dog kennels. We will be doing the H.U.G. project for quite some time.”
While customers and visitors to the shelter will likely notice the ongoing construction behind the building, the shelter will remain open throughout the process. All the cats and other animals are available for adoption.
If you would like to donate to the cattery project or other future projects at the shelter, you can click here for more information. Hockenberry also noted that while donations are the best form of support they can receive, it’s not the only way.
“If you can, help us out by donating. If you can’t donate, we have a wish list for items that we need all the time,” she said. “If you can’t donate, volunteer to help get the dogs out, play with the cats a little bit so they get socialized. And we’re always doing adoptions.”
For more information on the new cattery, adoption specials or how to support the animal shelter, click here to visit the website.