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QUINCY, GRANT COUNTY – Rachel Lewis grins from ear to ear when she visits the future home of Quincy Animal Shelter.

The shelter director has reason to be happy as she said the new facility will house more animals, in a safer place, with more natural lighting in a cleaner, more up-to-date facility. Builders are also ahead of schedule and Lewis just learned that church members recently donated more than $3,000 for furnishings and equipment.

“This is pretty incredible,” she said as she toured the half-built shelter. Construction workers say hello and joke with her about “checking in.”

“As you can tell, I come here a lot,” she said.

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Quincy City Council members approved some payment for shelter builder Shawn Cole Construction, of Spokane, this week and the project that was supposed to be completed in mid-October may be finished by mid-September, Lewis said.

She said the new shelter would give animals a better chance to find a “forever home,” by offering a cleaner, more relaxed facility to visit pets. Some cats will be kept in a living room setting with a chaise lounge so potential owners can see how the animal would act in their home.

She said the new shelter will have a comfortable “get acquainted room” with furniture and natural lighting, so potential owners and pets can play, and get to know each other before they go home.

“In our shelter now, people come in and say ‘what a clean facility you have,’ but then when they get into the kennels and they are like ‘eww this place isn’t very nice,” she said.

That is because some animals are in small cages that are stacked on top of each other in their current shelter. The new shelter will have 24 cat condos, 20 inside/outside dog runs and a nursery for cats or dogs that recently had kittens or puppies. There will be no more dogs in small cages stacked three high, Lewis said.

The city paid for the building, but Lewis is tasked with finding funds to buy new equipment. Some items that were in the old building will work for the new facility, but Lewis wants the best for the animals at this no-kill shelter, and the best costs money.

So the shelter is hosting a Costume Dog Parade Aug. 28 and a 5K race Oct. 18 to raise money. She said that she wanted to thank Quincy Community Church members who recently donated money after the church closed and the property was sold.

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