NORWAY — Although Responsible Pet Care received some recognition lately, it’s still fighting for funding to move from a crowded local building to a former school in Paris the group says is better suited to its needs.
RPC has been announced as the winner of the Oxford Hills County Chamber of Commerce’s 2013 Community Service Award.
Shirley Boyce, president of Responsible Pet Care, said she wasn’t sure if the award would help to get more funding for the new building, but said “it can’t hurt.”
“It’s wonderful to receive that award and be recognized, because the amount of hard work up there — you just can’t imagine unless you’re involved,” Boyce said.
Responsible Pet Care can get the property at 9 Lower Swallow Road for about $295,000, but retrofitting will bring the total cost up to $350,000. She said RPC has applied for a $50,000 Rural Development grant to help defray the costs. “We’re still plugging along,” Boyce said Monday.
Last year, the group made an offer and had a Dec. 1 contract deadline. They didn’t make the deadline, but received an extension until the beginning of March. Boyce said she tries not to tell people the deadline is two months away because “we need to move now,” she said.
She said the shelter would probably move into the new building before renovations are complete.
“We’re paying tons of money for heating up there,” Boyce said. “It’s such a shame.”
Heating the poorly-insulated current shelter costs $6,000 per year and the building needs numerous repairs. The building in Paris is in good shape, and extra outdoor space would allow the shelter to set up a dog park.
At the Chamber of Commerce on Monday, Cynthia Wescott of Responsible Pet Care said the dog park will be a place anyone can enjoy. “You don’t have to have a dog,” she said. “But if you do, even better.”
Anyone who would like to donate to the facility may mail a check to: Responsible Pet Care of Oxford Hills, P.O. Box 82, Norway, ME 04268.