CCAPL hosting Nov. 12 open house at new no-kill animal shelter

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CCM/ Carol McIntire Carroll County Animal Protection League Vice President Lorna Lowell-Whaley (left) and President Eileen Rohrer take a break from preparing for a Nov. 12 open house. The officers are sitting with Nipper, the group’s mascot, who will greet visitors in the lobby.

By Carol McIntire


The public will get its first peek at the progress inside the Carroll County Animal Protection League’s (CCAPL) no-kill animal shelter during a Nov. 12 open house. 

The event will be held at the 4901 Canton Rd., Carrollton, facility from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and feature tours, showcasing the facility and updating the community on what is yet to be done before the shelter can open to the public. 

CCAPL President Eileen Rohrer and Vice President Lorna Lowell-Whaley recently provided a review of what has been done, what is yet to be done and what it will take to operate the facility.

Rohrer and Lowell-Whaley followed up the organization’s decision to construct a non-kill animal shelter with visits to eight or nine operating shelters of varying sizes. 

“We came back and put what we thought was the best of each shelter and combined it with what would work in our community,” Lowell-Whaley explained.

The shelter is well on its way to completion.

Rohrer said the 501 (c) (3) organization has invested $1.2 million in the building and land with the goal of raising an additional $400,000 to complete the facility, which includes an expected operation cost of $150,000 the first year.

The CCAPL was organized Jan. 18, 2007, and the 5.393 acres of land on the west side of Canton Rd. was purchased in in 2008. Morton Buildings erected the building shell in 2015, but not before a driveway was installed, the $29,000 land purchase loan was paid, and excavating was completed at the site. A geothermal HVAC system was installed, cement work completed, water well and pump installed, handicapped parking spaces created, and a ditch graded, all before the end of 2022.

Epoxy coating was applied to all floors and kennel walls, sewer plant installed, washroom, plumbing, restrooms, cat/dog bathing tub and related work has been completed to date in 2023.

“We’ve come a long way, but we still have a long way to go,” Rohrer said, noting the organizations\ has completed all the work without taking out any loans.

“Thanks to our wonderful members, a generous community and grant funds, we have come this far,” she said. 

“Our goal when we started in 2015 was to have it completed in 10 years. We believe we are on track to open in 2025.”

The shelter features a reception area, two restrooms, an intake area where dogs and cats can be surrendered to the CCAPL and an intake room where those animals are assessed and quarantine rooms with a separate air exchanger so there is no

possibility air from those rooms enter the other sections of the facility,  There’s also a grooming area, surgical room, food prep room, 39 kennel runs for dogs with drains in each kennel for easy cleaning with a centralized water hose that reaches both ends of the kennel. A block wall separates the two sections of kennels to prevent dogs from agitating each other across the aisle. 

The cat and kitten area features a playroom and area where potential owners can become acquainted with the animal. The facility will have space to house between 18 and 22 cats.

The women noted all dogs and cats that come into the shelter will be spayed or neutered before leaving. In the case of animals too young for the procedures, CCAPL officials plan to work with rescue groups to provide housing until the animal is of age for the surgery. 

The facility also includes a meeting room and break room for volunteers.

Even with the significant progress that has been made and the target date of 2025 for opening, the two acknowledge there is still much left to do.

Chain link fencing and privacy fence for outdoor dog runs, stainless steel tops, drop-down doors and fronts for indoor dog kennels, cat cages, shelving, surgical table and light, back-up generator, phone and internet system, refrigerators, printer, computer, security and camera system and various miscellaneous items. 

Rohrer expects it to cost between $100,000-$150,000 to operate each year depending on donations and monetary support.

CCAPL members will be stationed in each room during the open house to explain its use, what has been done and what needs done as well as answer questions.

Details on CCAPL membership will be available at the open house along with cookbooks, etc. offered for sale. 

“We are so close,” Lowell-Whaley said.

“Our goal has always been to build, maintain and have organized adoption of domesticated animals in a no-kill shelter,” Rohrer said, adding the group’s mission is to provide, through an animal shelter, love and care for domestic animals until they find their forever homes.” 

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