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This kitty at the Lewis-Upshur Animal Control Facility is thrilled about a new $30,000 grant from Petco Love that will allow LUAC to build a complete surgical suite. / Photo by Monica Zalaznik

Petco Love grant will allow Lewis-Upshur Animal Control Facility to fully outfit new surgical suite

BUCKHANNON – The Lewis-Upshur Animal Control Facility was selected as the recipient of a $30,000 grant for their new on-site surgical suite.

The grant was disbursed by Petco Love, a national nonprofit dedicated to making “communities and pet families closer, stronger, and healthier,” according to its website.

Lewis-Upshur Animal Control Facility Director Jan Cochran said she and Upshur County Assistant Administrator Cindy Hughes worked on the grant together. Now that it has been awarded, the funds will allow them to purchase all the equipment they need and want for the new surgical suite.

“When we started this process, we asked other places that built surgical suites how much it cost, so the equipment was near $15,000 to $20,000, and then I talked to the vet, and she said we were looking at about $15,000- $17,000 for equipment,” Cochran said. “There were a few things we were going to have to put off – things we wouldn’t absolutely need but would be nice to have – and this way, we’re going to have everything.”

For example, LUAC can now purchase a bigger, better surgery prep table than before.

“There’s a couple of pieces we hadn’t ordered, like our prep table, so we got a little bit bigger prep table; it’s a little bit more money, but it also has storage underneath,” Cochran said.

She said all the funds for this project were raised through voluntary efforts, and taxpayers only contributed what they wanted.

“The nice thing about doing the fundraisers – doing the two auctions, the gun raffle and the Winter Wonderland event – is the taxpayers have only paid what they wanted to donate,” Cochran said. “We’ve had a few come up and write checks, and we’ve had a couple of businesses donate, but all by choice, so it’s nice the county doesn’t have to give us any money. If we fell short, we could ask for money from the spay-and-neuter fund because that’s what it must be used for — either education, spaying or neutering, and the county was fine with that, but this is cool that the county is going to have something wonderful the taxpayers didn’t have to pay for.”

Cochran is hoping the surgical suite will be operational this fall.

“We’re still waiting for maintenance to have time to work on the space; they were still a little behind on other projects, but I’m aiming for this fall,” Cochran said.

The press release about the grant may be found on My Buckhannon.

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