Lisa Jackson and her husband Rich are renting a house on the property of the former Pennell Roofing and Sheet Metal Company at 400 West Walnut.
Other buildings on the new PAWS property will be designated for cats only, dogs only, an office space where merchandise will be sold, an intake area and quarantine area.
The Jacksons are licensed humane investigators in Morgan and Cass Counties. They have operated the animal shelter out of their home since January 2011. Working a full-time job as a Morgan County correctional officer, Lisa says the move has been a slow process.
Residing on the property will allow the Jacksons to do after-hour adoptions. She says it’ll increase the amount of animals they can save.
“Not everybody works banking hours, so if somebody doesn’t get off work until 7 p.m. and there’s a particular dog or cat that they’re interested in, with us residing right there on the property, it’ll make adoption schedules a little easier to meet,” says Jackson.
“Doing it out of a home, I’m limited as to what I can take in. We have our own personal pets; it’s not always a good mix-and-match, depending on what’s coming in. Not everybody gets along all the time.”
Jackson says the move will make it easier to tend to injured animals and ones that require medical attention with the separate quarantine area.
“We’ve taken in dogs that are severely emaciated or [have] broken legs, hit by a car. There’s several different circumstances which we’ve taken animals in that required extra attention or can’t be in with the rest of the dogs, or restricted activities, so that’s what that area will be used for,” she says.
The move doesn’t change the fact that Morgan County Animal Control is in charge of stray dogs and cats. Jackson says they’re also the authority on aggressive animals, but if you want to give your pet up for adoption, you can turn to PAWS.
The organization has two big annual fundraisers. Jackson says they need to rely on community support, including from businesses like Pet Supplies Plus and the Cass Veterinary Service, to continue to operate.
“The community from Day One has been very, very supportive of us. We’ve got awesome volunteers,” she says.
“It’s not untypical of me to call- I actually called somebody at 8:00 last night to volunteer and asked them if they would mind going in to pick up a puppy that needed to be rescued, and- drop of a hat- just hopped in her car and went and saved a puppy for me. I was at work and unable to do it myself,” adds Jackson.
PAWS was scheduled to hold a fundraiser at Good Time Doc’s next Saturday, but Jackson says that’s been cancelled because of the work associated with the move to the Pennell building.
Jackson says over 6-hundred animals have been saved since PAWS was started, and she hopes the number will increase when they finally open the new building. She says that might not happen for a couple more months.
To give a pet up for adoption, call 217-243-PAWS.