Commissioners discuss renovating, moving Guilford County Animal Shelter

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The Guilford County Animal Shelter has been at its current location at 4525 Wendover Ave. West for decades. But now, Guilford County commissioners are discussing renovating the space, or moving it entirely.

Jeff Phillips, vice chairman for the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, said that "everything is on the table" and discussions are still in the early stages.

"I think it's flown under the radar for some time," Phillips said. "It's potentially not been as much a priority as we should have made it."

Phillips said it's too early to tell whether the renovation or a move is the more likely option. He estimated it would be six months to a year before they make any decision.

"Our animals are near and dear to our hearts, as they should be. Decisions we make will be with respect to those priorities," he said.

GCAS Executive Director Marsha Williams said she doesn't have a preference between moving or renovating, but is just excited that commissioners have the shelter on their radars.

"We're doing the best we can in the conditions that we have. But it's time," Williams said. "It's not one thing that's constantly making it an issue. It's just there are so many things. It's constant repairs on painting, repairing the floors, repairing the kennel doors."

Williams said that more space would also mean more animals saved. On its busiest days, she said the shelter could get as many as 200 animals dropped off at its doorstep.

Shelter volunteer Patty Swider said, at times, the condition and size of the shelter inhibits the work they do.

"There's a point, with any building I think, that you feel like you're patching something that is beyond repair."

Swider said she's confident commissioners will make the right choice, and that the shelter will continue to save as many animals as possible.

"We all have that common goal. We all love those animals," she said.

Commissioners estimate a renovation or move would cost anywhere between three and six million dollars. Williams said the shelter plans to help raise money to cover the expenses.