Nonprofit organization building second facility, which will include quarantine room for the animals.
An animal-loving nonprofit organization in Hopatcong is creating a second pound building.
Hopatcong Pound Project, which was co-founded by Wendy Ciardi and Ed Van Orden in 2011 to help the borough’s animals, is building a 24-by-47-foot building next to the current pound facility, which is 55 years old.
“What we’re about is bringing compassion and community together for the animals. A lot of people don’t even realize in our town that we have an animal pound. That’s a bad thing. So, we had to enlighten a lot of people to the fact that we have an animal pound. Our animal control officer, Dale [Sloat], is fabulous,” said Ciardi.
The new building is funded by donations, and the Pound Project recently found out it has been selected by the Loew’s Heroes program at three of its stores. According to the Loews website, “Each year, Lowe's Heroes volunteer program helps to improve the communities where Lowe's employees work and live. Together, each store team identifies a community improvement project that will make a difference in their community, such as working with Habitat for Humanity or a local public school.”
Ciardi said she doesn’t know exactly what the program will provide yet, but “… to help us with the inside of the building would be great.” The new building will include a quarantine room for the animals.
So far, the foundation has been put in, the plumbing is being installed, and the septic system has been connected. The next step is for the floor to be poured, and, as required, a handicapped-accessible bathroom will be included in the new building.
Ciardi noted that the borough does not provide any direct funding for the pound, which is currently housed in a municipal building. But the Pound Project is going through the Borough Council and Planning Board to get all the necessary permits. In addition, a retired architect volunteered his time on the new building.
According to Ciardi, the new building will cost approximately $14,000 for the shell, $18,000 for the foundation and floorboard, and she estimates the total cost could be around $100,000, but it’s too early to know for sure.
“We still need the help though, of everybody around town to keep us going. Everybody is keeping us going. They really are.”
The Hopatcong Pound Project will hold its first major fundraiser, a golf outing on Aug. 20, at Sky View Golf Club, 226 Lafayette Road, Sparta. Price for the event is $115, and it is looking for a few hole sponsors (cost is $200).
The Hopatcong Pound Project is a 501(c)(3), which means all donations are tax-deductible, and the Pound Project does provide receipts. Like its Facebook page, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos courtesy of the Hopatcong Pound Project