WALNUT RIDGE, AR (KAIT) - The Walnut Ridge City Council approved Monday night a measure to allow Mayor Charles Snapp to create an agreement for the new animal shelter.
The plans for the shelter have been in the works since April, 2015 when Snapp discussed the stray animal problem in the city. Since then the city purchased the former Gateway Animal Clinic building to be the possible home for the shelter.
Snapp said representatives with Jumpstart Ministries in Walnut Ridge approached him about operating the shelter. The agreement that will be made is between the city and Jumpstart Ministries.
The building will serve 2 purposes. The back half will be for animal control. Officers can house an animal there for up to 5 days as they search for the owner. If they are unable to do so, the animal will be moved to the shelter section of the building for possible adoption.
Snapp said when the shelter is operational, they will be able to hold events like low-cost rabies clinics for the community.
Snapp called the situation a win-win for the city and everyone else involved in the project.
"But it's also a win-win for Jumpstart," Snapp said. "They're a alcohol and chemical rehabilitation center for men with problems and if we can save some of the animals and help some of these men over their hump and Walnut Ridge residents save money, what more can you ask for?"
There are still some issues that will be worked out. Snapp explained that since Jumpstart has religious ties, they will have restrictions on what they can place on the outside of the building.
He wanted the shelter to be a regional area where other groups in Lawrence County can use.
He hoped to see it open in no later than a month.
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