SCARF in ‘race to finish’ campaign

Animal shelter groundbreaking set for Nov. 17

By Patricia Ann Speelman -

SIDNEY — Nearing the end of a fundraising campaign that began almost exactly two years ago, the Shelby County Animal Rescue Foundation, familiarly known as SCARF, has announced the groundbreaking for a new animal shelter in Shelby County.

Officials will shovel out the first scoops of dirt at the site along Gearhart Road, Nov. 17, at 4:30 p.m. The Bob Sargeant & Family Shelby County Animal Shelter and Adoption Center will then be under construction.

But that doesn’t mean that the fundraising goal has been reached. In fact, at 90 percent of the $2.4 million mark, the campaign must still raise $250,000. To do so, SCARF has begun a Race to the Finish.

The drive hopes to find 500 donors who will each pledge $500 by Dec. 31. All those who do so will have their names entered into a drawing for two box seats at Eldora’s Four Crown National auto races in September 2018. They will also have their names inscribed on the shelter’s planned Paws of Fame donor wall. The drawing prize was donated by NK Telco.

“As we move towards the end of 2017, we encourage persons to consider the new animal shelter project in their tax-deductible end-of-year giving. The Race to the Finish is a perfect way to make that donation. Donors can make a one-time contribution or pledge to make their payment over a three-year time period,” said SCARF President Debra Hovestreydt.

The new animal shelter is designed to be a more healthy and comfortable environment for Shelby County’s abandoned and neglected dogs and cats. The facility will have more kennels than the current one and spaces designed to make the adoption process a more rewarding experience. Design work is currently being done by Freytag and Associates, of Sidney.

“We are very grateful to have the community be so supportive of our efforts to help the animal shelter as they care for our community’s neediest animals,” said SCARF Vice President Julie Ehemann. “We want all of our donors to have the satisfaction of seeing our dream of a new shelter become a reality. We have looked at this project as a race; the Race to the Finish epitomizes the thoughts of the SCARF board members, volunteers and many of our current contributors.”

The 8,152-square-foot building will more than double the space of the current shelter, which was built in 1971 and slightly expanded in 1998. It will have a custom-designed heating and air-conditioning system that will help to prevent the spread of disease among resident animals. It will have a proper quarantine area, kennel floors designed for ease of cleaning, a records room and expanded living quarters for dogs and cats. In addition, there will be a puppy room, a welcome center and “re-tail” shop, an exam room, areas for proper food storage, a laundry area, outside play areas and space to hold 22 percent more animals than the current building can hold.

All donations are fully tax-deductable. They can be mailed, payable to the Community Foundation of Shelby County and marked for the SCARF Pawsitive Race to the Finish campaign, to the foundation, 100 S. Main Ave. #202, Sidney, OH 45365. They can be made online at and at When donating online, use a pledge form to ensure that the gift is credited to the capital campaign. For information about donating, call 497-7800.
Animal shelter groundbreaking set for Nov. 17

By Patricia Ann Speelman

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.