Construction on the new site for the Seward Animal Shelter at 605 Sea Lion Avenue is nearing completion. On Saturday, Seward Animal Control Officer Shelli McDowell shared Facebook photos updating the facility’s construction progress. Though nearly complete, the new shelter will still undergo several weeks’ further work before move-in can begin, according to Deputy Police Chief Karl Schaefermeyer.

“I think they have a few touch-ups inside, on the dog kenneling,” Schaefermeyer said. “They said two weeks, they might be fully done with construction. As far as an actual opening date, we still need to get equipment and the office set up and stuff like that. I’m not sure on that timeline yet.”

As the move-in date draws closer, Shelter advocacy group Save Our Seward Pets is continuing its fundraising campaign to provide supplies for the new location once it opens, though SOSPets Secretary / Treasurer Jane Belovarac said supplies cannot be purchased until the overall need is determined through the course of the move.

“We are fundraising for exam tables and furniture, necessary things to make the place a home for the animals,” Belovarac said. “We put everything that people have been giving us for the new shelter into a savings account. For the past 15 years we’ve been fundraising for a new shelter, so that money has not disappeared. It’s definitely going to be used for those types of items. Now the shelter is moving along a little closer, hopefully we can start purchasing some of the items that are needed to fill it.”

Regardless of the timeline, Deputy Chief Schaefermeyer says he joins the community in his anticipation for the long-overdue upgrade.

“It’ll be night-and-day compared to what we currently have for a shelter,” Schaefermeyer said. “We’re just looking forward to getting it open. It’s been a long process over many, many years. Hopefully it’ll better serve the community, better serve the animals in our community. We’re hoping that it can bring some additional services that we haven’t been able to provide so far.”

For more information on donating to the shelter fund, visit sospetsak.org. To view the full gallery of updated construction pictures, visit facebook.com/SewardShelter.