Support needed for new shelter

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Funding and community support is needed for a new animal shelter, which has opened to care for abandoned and neglected animals.

Shirlene Steel opened the Animal Rehab Central (ARC) in the former SPCA facilities on Blackman Rd last week, to provide housing, care and veterinary attention before finding them new homes.

She already has six dogs in residence and spends most of her time with them, bonding, training and preparing them for the next stage in their lives.
‘‘We want to take in as many animals as we can but there are only so many animals we can take.
‘‘It is not cheap and we can only do what we can through fundraising, donations and other support from the community.’’

The shelter was set up just days before Level 4 lockdown by a 15-member committee of business people who helped set up the incorporated society and registered charity.

She is committee president and facility operations manager.
‘‘They are all really keen to help and their support has been great as I could never have done it on my own.
‘‘We can cater for up to eight to 10 dogs at any given time, as well as cats.
‘‘However, we tend to limit the number of dogs we have as they require more work to be cared for.‘‘Some can take six months to recover while others only take a couple of weeks before they are ready to be adopted.’’

Mrs Steel, who is a former SPCA auxiliary officer, also owns the Central Otago Feline Lodge.
She expects things to get busier once kitten season kicks in.
She intends to hold a fair at Earnscleugh Hall on September 27 as a fundraiser.
She is also considering running puppy classes, or pet sponsorship and is looking at holding a Dog Club in Alexandra for people to get together with their dogs to go for walks and socialise.