Chesapeake Cats and Dogs moving
WYE MILLS — A house on Wye Mills Road has become a dream come true for Chesapeake Cats and Dogs.
Before Dec. 1, the shelter should be open at the renovated house and leave its leased space at the Island Professional Park in Stevensville. The new shelter, across from Chesapeake College, sits on five acres of land and will be called Tree of Life: Home of Chesapeake Cats and Dogs. It’s named after a giant tree that sits on the property.
“This is a dream come true for everybody who sits on the board of directors and I’m sure many who worked and volunteered their heart and soul,” said Debbie Lukacovic, board member.
The new space will allow double the number of cats the shelter can handle, up from the 40 to 45 cats living at the old shelter, meaning the staff can rescue more animals.
“We always wanted to expand .... We want to help as many animals as we can,” Lukacovic said.
In general, the shelter takes in animals dropped off by the public or a up at shelters in the counties of Talbot, Caroline, Queen Anne’s, Prince George’s and Anne Arundel. Sometimes, feral cats are trapped and brought into the shelter. Dogs are kept at foster homes.
Animals brought to Chesapeake Cats and Dogs aren’t euthanized like some shelters. The cats aren’t caged, are free to roam, and can stay for the rest of their lives, if necessary, Lukacovic said.
The house, dating back to the year 1900, had to be renovated before they moved it, and, fortunately, some people donated their time to make the repairs.
Inside the house, the living room will be office space, and the dining room will be split between dogs and cats to meet and great potential owners. On the second floor, there are two big bedrooms, one where the cats will be living and the other screened in for cats who need isolation for some reason.
In a future, it’s envisioned that a new large main sanctuary facility will be constructed for medical facilities, dog runs, and space for training, meeting and care for the cats and dogs. This facility will form the center of activity for the organization. It’s expected the project will be completed in late next year.
Also planned is a house for a caretaker who can take care of the animals 24/7 and walk the dogs at the site as needed. Right now, the dogs are in foster care, which is good because then the foster parents can tell if they are good with children and other animals, but the center wants to offer day care for dogs.
The shelter worked with Scott Saunders from Coldwell Banker Waterman Realty in Chester to secure the property, and eventually the shelter got a mortgage. Saunders adopted a dog from the shelter and the shelter’s board of directors approached him and said they wanted help.
“We wanted to be able to house and adopt and bring in more animals,” said Lukacovic.
Saunders also was the project coordinator in renovating the property. The house was totally gutted and almost everything was replaced except the frame of the house and the foundation, Saunders said.
The new things in the house include windows, electrical infrastructure, siding, plumbing, and hearing and air conditioning. Almost all the floors were replaced, too.
The shelter always needs donations and people to adopt cats and dogs.
On Sunday, Nov. 27, the shelter is holding a fundraiser called, “Fall Basket and Bag Bingo,” at American Legion Post 278, 800 Romancoke Road in Stevensville. The doors open at noon, and bingo begins at 2 p.m. The tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door.
Anyone interesting in adopting a pet should check out the organization’s website at chesapeakecatsanddogs.org or contact the center at 410643-9955. The phone number won’t change with the move.
Chesapeake Cats and Dogs plans to move into this house at Wye Mills Road across from Chesapeake College sometime before Dec. 1. The shelter has a mortgage on the property and will be leaving its leased space at the Island Professional Park in Stevensville.
The Chesapeake Cats and Dog’s existing shelter, pictured, has become crowded. So the shelter is moving to a new location on Wye Mills Road across from Chesapeake College. The shelter at the new location, expected to open before Dec. 1, can handle twice as many animals.