Dogs staying at the Bastrop animal shelter will soon get bumped an upgrade.


Dogs staying at the Bastrop animal shelter will soon get bumped an upgrade.


Thanks to a lucrative fundraising campaign in 2011 by the non-profit organization Morehouse Humane Society, the first step in facility improvements at the shelter began this week.


Joyce Ford, with the Society, said that close to $25,000 netted is paying for a new air conditioning building for dogs that will offer 10 open air runs.


Drainage improvements will also be made for the building. Rain would drip onto the dogs because of the old building's leaky roof.


Gregory Construction was hired as the contractor at the facility, which takes care of about 120 dogs.


“We felt like this was the most urgent thing that needed to get done,” Ford said of the Society's decision.


The building getting torn down was basically a shack patched together in 1984. A year later it was moved on the grounds, but still used, when the shelter received the current main building.


That building has been identified as probably the next improvement project, Ford said.


Seed money for the upgrades was a result of a first-time gun raffling the Society held starting last summer. For $50, individuals had a chance to win one of the 52 rifles in Arms for Animals.


While sales started slowly, by January 2012 about $50,000 was generated – about half of which was used to pay for the guns.


“It went much better than we first anticipated,” Ford said.


The group is preparing to start its second Arms for Animals fundraiser with evidence of success and now momentum with seeing the money put to work.


Meanwhile, the Morehouse Humane Society is beginning its annual membership drive. The Society has about 500 annual members. Cost to become a member starts at $15.


Cost to adopt a cat at the shelter is $30 for a cat and $40 for a dog, and includes first shots and spay or neutering.