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Scouts, Lions team take up a cause for the paws at animal shelter

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Potential pet owners now have a new space to meet furry friends at the Sedalia Animal Shelter.


A new shed has been donated to the shelter by the Sedalia Lions Club to allow customers to spend some time with available pets to see which one is the best fit for their family.


“It’s much needed room for people to be able to meet with the animals they might want to adopt away from the office and other animals,” said shelter manager Jamie Ditzfeld.


The animal shelter, at 2900 W. Main St., was built in 1981 and has had a few additions, but it’s still too small for the Sedalia community, Ditzfeld said.


Lions Club member Chris Koetting noticed the lack of space when he and his family adopted their own pets from the shelter. He came up with the idea of the Lions Club donating a shed to the shelter to alleviate the problem several years ago, but bigger projects got in the way.


Koetting’s idea finally came to life a few weeks ago when the shed was delivered, July 22.


“The people at the animal shelter were ecstatic when we delivered it,” Koetting said. “They realized they had a problem and they’ve wanted to do this for a long time, but they didn’t have the funds to do it.”


Koetting wasn’t the only member of the family to be involved with the project. His son, Hunter, and Boy Scout Troop 61 worked to put flooring, wiring, heat and air conditioning, insulation and lights in the shed, as well as landscaping. Hunter used the opportunity as his Eagle Scout Project, which meant he served as foreman of the job with his dad serving as the adviser.


Chris, who helped come up with funds and designed the inside, said the entire project cost between $5,000 to $6,000 and was paid for by the Lions Club with money from several fundraisers throughout the year.


There’s still a little bit of work left before the shelter begins using the shed; a ramp for wheelchair access and wiring needs to be completed, which Koetting said should be done this week.


Even though it hasn’t been used yet, Ditzfeld said the donation is “absolutely wonderful.”


“We couldn’t have asked for anything better,” he said. “It’s absolutely perfect.”


For more information about the Sedalia Animal Shelter, call 826-5816.

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