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Shelter plans in Ballston Spa move forward

"It gets pretty crowded," Butler said, referring to the shelter, which is about 9,000 square feet.

The site plan allows for future expansion, he said.

Another feature of new shelter is separate entrances for pet adoption, surrender and euthanasia.

"When people come to adopt, that is a happy time for them and they don't need that interaction," Butler said, referring to people surrendering their pets or having them euthanized.

Butler stressed the importance of spaying and neutering pets. He said the new facility would have an area for the surgical procedure. He said no animal would leave the shelter without first being spayed or neutered.

"With the new areas, we hopefully will do a better job of keeping the healthy ones healthy," Butler said.

He said that having glass protected viewing of the animals would prevent the spread of viruses from one animal to the next because people will not be able to touch multiple animals at a time. In the current facility, the animals are only in cages, allowing people to pet several animals in a single visit.

Volunteer dog walkers will also have a place to rest in the new facility.

The original building was converted from an old barn. The facility was expanded in 1988 to include a larger reception area and more dog kennels.

The shelter holds several fundraisers throughout the year to raise money for the animal's needs, Butler said.

Friends of the Saratoga County Animal Shelter will be holding the second annual Busy Bone 500 dog walk on Saturday, May 10, at the county fairgrounds.

Last year's Busy Bone 500 raised more than $6,000 for the new shelter.

Butler said the shelter has raised more than $170,000 through fundraising to contribute to the new shelter in some capacity.

The new shelter could be built in late 2009, according to initial estimates.""

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