Dog adoption center won’t open until spring

ZANESVILLE – The new Muskingum County Adoption and Dog Sitter Center facility will now open later than originally scheduled by the county, and there will also be staffing changes as commissioners hand over dog sitter responsibilities to Sheriff Matt Lutz.

When the Muskingum County Board of Commissioners first moved forward with the new canine facility in September, it was expected to be operational by the end of January. However, a delay in bidding for the final components of the facility’s construction – kennels and a drainage system for $154,954 – pushed the opening back to the spring.

Commissioner Cindy Cameron said the delay was because the commissioners did not receive notice to proceed from the architect until later than expected, although the office did not respond in time for a date.

She said that was when the council learned it would take 12 weeks for the materials to be delivered. The architect’s office said the timeline has changed since they first reviewed the kennels more than a year ago.

And that component has been a big push for humane animal conditions – dog sitter staff and volunteers said the need for more comfortable indoor and outdoor dog kennels was a big reason a new adoption center was needed. needed first.

The 50+ year old building on Newark Road is deteriorating and unsanitary, and it is the hope that more dogs will be adopted if the adoption center is a nicer place. It will also be more comfortable for dogs.

According to Flecto Construction owner Tom Piecynski, the final piece of the new building on East Pike next to the juvenile court won’t arrive until mid-March.

“We will have finished the majority of the building (by then) and will be waiting in the kennels,” he said.

That puts the end of construction between late March and early April depending on the delivery date, Piecynski estimates. He said the majority of the building will be complete by the time the kennel parts arrive, but technically crews can’t finish the other building components until the kennels are fully installed.

“It’s going well, and honestly it’s more or less on schedule. We’re going to get to a point but we’re going to have to stop because we won’t have the kennels,” he said. The team will start again once these are completed.

As it stands, the main frame is being put in place, the roof is half finished and the concrete floor is finished, Piecynski said. Now crews are working on the interior framing and preparing for the arrival of electricians and HVAC installers.

“Once the kennels arrive, we’ll do that in two weeks,” Piecynski said.

Bryan Catlin, who held the position of dog keeper for 20 years previously, will no longer hold that position but has applied for a kennel master position.

According to the commissioners, he will still be officially employed by the county for a few more months during the transition.

Catlin said that with his expertise, he wished the county had saved him a job.

“My years of experience, (I understand) the different types of dog body language,” Catlin said of her intuition with animal care. “I would like to continue working to at least work with the dogs.”

Cameron said the sheriff’s office can only resume operations after a commissioner is elected, and the time has come. She said sheriff’s deputies would be more aggressive in enforcing animal abuse and other pet-related 911 calls.

“(When the dog sitters were handling the calls on their own) they did a good job of getting the dogs back, but maybe we wanted more bite, more enforcement of people who don’t don’t take care of their dogs,” she said.

The Kennel Master will be in charge of daily operations such as general office duties, answering calls, assisting customers. They will also play an important role in caring for the dogs.

Catlin also highlighted the good relationship he had with the volunteers and his 20 years of knowledge of the operation of the adoption center, especially since they were complicated due to COVID.

“Dealing with such issues, it’s good to have a good working relationship with the volunteers,” he said.

ecouch@gannett.com

740-450-6752

Twitter: @erinccouch

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