The Larimer Humane Society is planning another signature drive early next year to put an initiative on the ballot to build a new shelter to replace its cramped, outmoded one in Fort Collins, a spokesperson said today.
Because of a counting error, a similar petition drive this year fell short of the needed 11,263 signatures to place the issue on the November ballot
Larimer Humane gathered public support and appealed to the county's board of commissioners to refer the matter to the ballot, but commissioners, though supportive, took no action because the county would have had only two weeks before the deadline for referral to work out details, said the spokesperson, Stephanie Ashley.
An agreement between the nonprofit and Larimer County on the ownership and operation of the proposed building in Loveland would not be completed in time, officials said.
"We're moving forward with researching and formulating a ballot drive to be launched around February," Ashley said, "We're looking for an outside agency that can help us gather signatures."
Larimer Humane this year proposed a countywide 0.1 sales tax to raise $13 million to build a new facility on land owned by the organization north of the Fort Collins-Loveland Municipal Airport along County Road 30. The overall project would cost about $16.5 million.
The humane society owns the land outright and likely would lease the new shelter to the couunty, Ashley said.
According to a press release, the current Larimer Humane Society shelter in Fort Collins is more than 38 years old and is now failing. The facility poses disease control challenges, animal enrichment constraints, overwhelming maintenance needs and overcrowding and is no longer able to meet the needs of the growing population.
The new animal shelter building and exterior yards would total 38,802 square feet, approximately three times the total area now.
In the meantime, Ashley said, Larimer Humane will just have to make do with the old shelter.
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