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Contact(s):Tracy Roark
LR Animal Services Manager
501-376-3067

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :
Thursday, February 9, 2006

DOGS DIG DIRT TO START CONSTRUCTION OF NEW LR ANIMAL VILLAGE

Little Rock, AR (9 February 2006) Dogs available for adoption at Little Rock Animal Services dug up dirt to mark the beginning of construction for the new $1.7 million Animal Village. Joining the four-legged participants in the ceremony were two-legged community leaders including State Representative Pam Adcock, Vice Mayor Barbara Graves, City Director Joan Adcock, City Manage Bruce Moore, members of the Animal Services Advisory Board, Animal Services Staff, and other supporters.

“This is an exciting day for the animals of Little Rock and the citizens of Little Rock, too,” stated Vice Mayor Barbara Graves. “This has been a long time coming,” remarked Kerri Daniels, past chair of the Animal Services Advisory Board.

City Manager Bruce Moore noted that the current facility was built in 1960 next to the sanitation dump. Since that time, the mission has changed from serving as a pound to being a more comprehensive animal services operation. While the facility has been upgraded since 1960, the building has limitations that prevent it from best meeting its expanded mission.

The new 7,663 square foot facility will be located on Kramer Street just west of South University Avenue. It will be adjacent to the First Tee facility. Designed by Stuck and Associates, it will contain expanded space for the animals under the care and supervision of Little Rock Animal Services.

The majority of the funding for the project is provided by Little Rock’s 2004 Capital Bond program. According to Susie Smith, a member of the LR Project Progress Committee that oversees the bond program, “The bond monies have paid for the basic project. In order to further expand Little Rock Animal Services’ ability to move into education and other programming, additional funding has been raised by the Animal Services Advisory Board through fundraisers.” At Thursday’s ceremony, State Representative Pam Adcock presented a check for $75,000 from the State of Arkansas to go toward the construction cost.

Kaye Risser, current chair of the Animal Services Advisory Board, discussed plans for even more fundraising. “We want to keep the momentum going and provide an even more dynamic facility. I have been to many animal shelters in other cities. Some have become community focal points for education and outreach efforts regarding animals and animal welfare. Our dream is to have the Animal Village join those ranks.”

While the Animal Services Advisory Board looks to the future, they are also celebrating the exciting present. In 2005, Animal Services adopted out 668 dogs and cats. The addition of the Mobile Adoption Unit in May 2005 has increased the opportunities for outreach and education.

Construction on the Animal Village is expected to be completed in December 2006. “Just in time for people to adopt pets as Christmas or holiday gifts,” remarked City Director Joan Adcock, a member of the Advisory Board.

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