Blue River Pet Rescue, a non-profit organization in Seward County, is one step closer to building a shelter.
The board of directors recently purchased a lot south of Seward and is launching a capital campaign to raise funds for the project.
Seward veterinarian Dr. Dan Ellis is the board president for the organization and said the building project is important because there is a need in Seward County.
“We’ve been operating basically through foster homes to date and through our foster home network, we have re-homed approximately 80 animals,” Ellis said.
Ellis said the reason members started meeting was because they felt that there was a need, not only just in Seward but the region. York and Lincoln have established animal shelters but capacity issues sometimes limit their ability to accept animals, Ellis said.
“There are no acting shelters in the area aside from us,” Ellis said.
He said it is important to have a local shelter for people to take their pets to, especially when they are experiencing life’s stages such as job losses or economic downturns.
“They need to have a place where they feel comfortable that if they take their pet that they know they’re going to end up in a good home and will be taken care of,” he said.
Ellis said the board has a shared passion for animals and making sure needs are being met, and animals are cared for.
Blue River Pet Rescue started small and slow. Ellis said the board knew it would take some time to get the organization up and going.
The board recently purchased a lot to the west of Casey’s General Store for the project.
Ellis said the location was chosen based on land availability for commercial use.
Ellis said with the capital campaign, the board is aiming to raise $600,000.
“I think that would probably allow us to finish paying for the lot and get the building established,” Ellis said.
The board also has an anonymous donation that includes a match.
“We have until May 1 to raise money and they will match up to $100,000,” Ellis said.
While the City of Seward and the county already have contracts in place for housing lost or abandoned animals, Ellis said there has been dialogue about Blue River Pet Rescue serving in that capacity but it all depends on the contracts.
“That’s something that we’re definitely interested in exploring in those opportunities, because we want to be able to help them in any way we can and if that can help support our organization too, it can be mutually beneficial,” he said.
Karen Winney serves as the director for Blue River Pet Rescue.
“She’s been very instrumental in the day-to-day operations,” Ellis said.
Blue River Pet Rescue board members include Terri Siebert, Cheryll Greiner, Linda Molton, Donna Havener, Kris Beckler, Dr. Ron Wallman, Ellis, Brandi Flyr and Forrest Siebken.