Animal Shelter to hold grand opening in March

By Dean Manning

For the Mountain Advocate

Citing the enormity of the task of transforming the 10,000 square-foot former coal site reclamation facility into the new home of the Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter, officials have moved the opening date to March.

Shelter Director Deanna Myers said items remaining on the to-do list in the building on Busy Lane off of Fifth Street Road include: Installing the new roof and the ceiling tiles, completing the drywall in the office and community room areas, and the kennels in the dog area.

Myers said the shelter is continuing to work to raise funds to pay for the last 1,000 blocks for the kennels, purchase the last 20 sheets of drywall and the last of the 2×4 ceiling tiles.

“We still have about 10 to 15 kennels that are available for donor plaques,” Myers said, noting anyone who pledges $600 to cover the cost of the 500 blocks needed to build a kennel, will have a plaque placed on a kennel noting the donation.

“One of our kennels will be named ‘Friends of Frankie,’” Myers said, explaining the 500 blocks were donated in memory of Dr. Elizabeth Uberlhor’s, the staff veterinarian at the Lexington Humane Society, dog.

“A lot of people are making the donations in memory of their animals,” Myers said.

Myers noted when the project began in February workers essentially had an empty garage, which is being turned into the dog kennel area and an area of office space.

New plumbing, HVAC and other systems have been installed using the insurance money, proceeds from the sale of the old property and donations to the project.

Myers explained that the roof project did not involve completely tearing off the existing roof but recoating it.

“The old roof had skylights in it and, of course, they leaked,” Myers explained, noting that until the repairs are complete, the ceiling tiles can’t be installed.

Myers said monetary donations are welcome and appreciated. Accounts where donations may be deposited are open at Forcht Bank and Hometown Bank of Corbin. In addition the shelter has an account set up through Paypal.

For those who prefer to make physical donations, Myers said the shelter is always in need of pet food, cat litter, toys, leashes, collars and harnesses, metal food and water bowls and other pet staples.

“They can even be gently used,” Myers said.

Cleaning supplies, towels and bedding and volunteer time are also very much welcome and appreciated

“We rely on the community,” Myers said.

Myers said the shelter staff would like to have dog beds and kennel mats in each of the kennels to get the dogs off of the floor.

Myers said the to-do list is getting shorter every day and.

“It is on the downhill slide,” Myers said, noting the new building is about three times larger that the old shelter and will house approximately 150 animals compared to 75 at the old shelter.

“We will be able to save more lives,” Myers said, noting that while the shelter won’t be labeled, “no kill,” the number of animals adopted or going to rescue has increased exponentially.

More information about the shelter and ways to help is available online at or on Facebook at Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter.

The shelter serves Clay, Knox, McCreary and Whitley counties.

The former shelter facility on Ky. 6 in Woodbine was destroyed by fire on Nov. 29, 2013.

Several cats, along with, “Sassy,” the resident shelter dog, were killed in the fire

For several weeks afterwards, the shelter operated out of temporary facilities at the old shelter site.

On Dec. 17, shelter officials moved to the temporary location on 5th Street Road. The former A&J Lawn Mower repair building was offered at a reduced rental rate by owner Ralph Rogers.

Shelter officials purchased the new building from Doug and Jackie Sizemore for $250,000. The goal had been to have the new building open in late January.