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April 23, 2024

Animal Shelter

Ribbon cutting recently held for new facility

By Susan Montgomery

The Bolivar Bullet

A ribbon cutting for the newly named William P. Tribble Cleveland-Bolivar County Animal Shelter was held April 13. The event was hosted by the shelter which is operated by the City of Cleveland and the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce.

Those that attended the ribbon cutting had the opportunity to see the results of a $1.75 million reconstruction, including a new building just for dogs. 

“It has been amazing to see how far the shelter has come,” said Animal Shelter Director Jamie Gregory-Grant. “We would love the public to see the new building and the future of the animal shelter.” 

Anyone can visit the shelter to see the progress. And, those who want to spend a little more time with the 100 or more dogs and cats housed in the shelter are welcome. The shelter’s hours are 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on weekdays and 10:00 a.m. on Saturdays. 

“The renovation has made the shelter much better,” said former employee Brian Davis. “All of the dogs are able to be visited in some way.”

The funding became available via a surprise donation from the late William P. Tribble, who passed away in  2018, and the bequest specified that the money be used for the shelter’s facility.

“We were extremely excited about the prospect of what we could do with that building,” said Gregory-Grant. “The facility at the time consisted of what was a former bus barn — a warehouse with an unsealed concrete floor. This was “not very good for disease control or sound, and it was impossible to keep clean.” 

The newly renovated warehouse contains reception and administrative areas and accommodations for cats. These include two community rooms plus isolated areas for nursing cats. There are medical facilities and a holding area for stray cats.

“We have seen a huge decrease in upper respiratory infections,” said Gregory-Grant. 

The transition took about two years, starting with the ground-breaking. The shelter had to move animals and people around during that time, so the building for dogs was constructed first. The dogs were shifted to their new headquarters, and areas in the back of the old building were renovated. “Then, they moved us and the cats  in the back,” she said.

The final result is not only more functional but far less crowded. Dogs have 33 kennels holding no more than two dogs each, and they have runs inside and out. 

“I believe it shows that Cleveland does care about animal welfare,” said Davis. “How you treat the least among you says a lot.”