Regional animal shelter opening delayed, again

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – Still on budget, but not on time — the Peninsula Regional Animal Shelter was scheduled to open this week, but a drive by will show you that that’s not happening.

So, 10 On Your Side decided to follow up on our report from May to see what the hold up is and how they’re working things out with the SPCA, which is going against their principles to help out in the meantime.

Photos: New animal shelter construction delayed

There’s a board meant to be a sign of optimism sitting in front of the facility that says, “Your City in Progress.” But with construction once slated to be complete by now, some may be wondering how much progress on the $7 million facility has really taken place. 10 On Your Side learned that at the very least they have hired a shelter director, Roger Iles.

“Coming on board, I’ve had an opportunity to really get a handle on construction issues, timelines and really getting a handle on where we need to be,” Iles said. “Each day we get a little further in that process, so I’m excited about the potential to open up and be there for the communities.”

The shelter needs to open as soon as possible because if you remember, the SPCA decided to give up nearly $1 million in revenue a month to become a no-kill shelter. But, they’re still obligated to euthanize animals by law as long as their tied to the municipalities joining forces to operate there.

“They have been more than generous in extending themselves far beyond that initial date and timeline that we all thought we’d be moving in,” Iles said.

There are noticeable issues that still need to take place for irrigation before landscaping can be done. But on the inside, there is visible progress, like flooring and kennels, even sound barriers that weren’t there the last time stopped by. With exposed wiring, pipes and paint, Iles admits the delays are frustrating. They’re just hoping this one will be the last.

“We think that we’re about to move in, and we gear ourselves for a certain date and then just to find out there are some challenges and delays,” he said.

Roger said they’ve remained on budget despite the delays because they halted any hiring after him and his administrative assistant. But they’re now ready to proceed with more hiring. This weekend they just posted four full-time positions.

For more information on those positions, click here.

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