Ribbon cut for $1.2M IOW animal shelter

Published 7:02 pm Saturday, July 9, 2011

Friends: Zaiden Jean-Louis of Hampton becomes friends with Carson, a 7-year-old German shepherd mix at the new animal shelter in Isle of Wight County.

Retired Isle of Wight County Animal Control Chief Wilbur Sullivan experienced Christmas morning on a steamy day in July recently.

That’s because nearly six years after he took over the animal control division of the sheriff’s office, he cut the ribbon on Thursday for a new $1.2 million shelter.

“It’s a great improvement over what we had,” Sullivan said. “Having air conditioning alone is an improvement.”

Email newsletter signup

The 6,300-square-foot shelter is four times larger than the old facility. It houses 44 dogs and 60 cats, has a grooming room and office space for five employees, said interim chief Robert Barlow.

“The biggest difference is the structure and the ability to take better care of the animals,” Barlow said.

Sheriff Charlie Phelps said the department hopes to have the shelter fully occupied by the end of next week.

Sullivan, who retired in April, said the goal was to make the shelter more people-friendly, which could ultimately lead to more adoptions.

“With the other kennel, when you walked in, it smelled bad,” he said. “It was not conducive to have people come in. The animals will be in better condition, and they won’t be as aggravated by hot and cold.”

The new shelter is located at 13100 Poor House Road, off Courthouse Highway. Call 365-6318 to reach the shelter.