Some years of work and planning paid off Friday, June 25, when the new surgical unit at the Town of Parker/La Paz County Animal Shelter was opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a dedication.
Robin Schilling, the president of the Animal Relief Fund, spoke at the dedication. She thanked everyone for their generosity and their support for the new facility. She thanked the shelter’s long-time veterinarian, Dr. Joseph Leveque, for his dedication to the health of pets in the area.
Amy Putnam, ARF board member, also spoke at the dedication. She said the process of getting the new facility was long, but the dreams and plans finally came to fruition.
ARF provides volunteers for the shelter as well as raises funds for shelter supplies.
“It’s exciting to have a state-of-the-art facility like this in our community,” said Dr. Rayeann Solano, the shelter’s current veterinarian. She said the new surgical unit will allow them to offer more medical services to area animals, including dental cleaning and other procedures, as well as low-cost spay and neuter procedures.
“I want to thank Robin and ARF for their hard work and dedication to this facility,” Solano said.
Margaret Jaeger was, along with Barbara Schwinn, one of the founders of ARF. She noted the organization will be celebrating its 30th anniversary next year. She said she was very impressed with the new facility.
Jaeger left ARF after 22 years because she said it was time for some new leadership. She said she was very happy with what Schilling and Putnam have done for the organization.
“Look at what they’ve accomplished!” she said.
Ground was broken for the new facility on Oct. 27, 2020. Schilling said the contractor, Weisner Construction of Lake Havasu City, did not take a profit on the project.
The new facility replaces a trailer that ARF had converted into facility for spay and neuter clinics. Schilling said the new surgical unit will allow them to provide more medical services for animals.
The new building includes a surgical room, a clean room for surgical equipment, a cat quarantine area, five dog kennels, an indoor storage room, and a laundry facility.
The cost of $200,000 was borne by grants and donations.
Schilling said they are hoping to hold an open house for the public at a future date.
ARF also sponsors rabies clinics throughout the year around the county. These clinics also offer other vaccinations and dog licenses. They operate a thrift store near the intersection of State Route 95 and Riverside Drive (the Lakeside Traffic Light) upriver.
The shelter has many animals available for adoption. It’s located at 309 7th Street, behind Western Park. The phone number is 928-669-8774.
The shelter now has its own website: https://www.loc8nearme.com/arizona/parker/town-of-parker-la-paz-county-animal-shelter/6124825/