LEMOORE — New shelter Valley Animal Haven could get more money to help support the fledgling business.
The Lemoore-based no-kill shelter is one of eight finalists nationwide in the HomeAgain Helps 2015 Shelter of the Year competition. The grand-prize winner will receive $25,000 cash, a new computer and more. Four runners-up will receive $2,500 along with side prizes.
HomeAgain Helps is a business focused on providing microchip and pet recovery services to shelters and other organizations. The business holds the competition each year.
“This is quite an honor,” said shelter Executive Director Pam Brasil. “It’s pretty incredible that we are one of only eight shelters across the nation to be chosen.”
The shelter uses the microchips that HomeAgain sells. Brasil said she was informed by the business about the competition and decided to enter. Brasil was required to fill out paperwork as well as get nominations from the public that had to be submitted on the HomeAgain website.
Brasil said she posted information on the shelter’s Facebook page about the competition and said the post got a phenomenal response, with a lot of people sending in nominations.
The shelter, located at 990 E. D St., officially started this January. Brasil used to work as a secretary at the Kings Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Lemoore but left last year to start her own shelter.
Originally, the shelter was run out of her house along with a few other people, which limited how many animals they could hold.
Last year, she was able to find a building that would suit the shelter’s needs and have the one she intended. Currently, the shelter mostly focuses on adoptions, with 161 completed so far this year.
Brasil said that if Valley Animal Haven won, she would use the money to make several improvements and expansions.
Recently, the shelter received two portable classrooms donated by the Lemoore Union Elementary School District. However, before the shelter can use them, Brasil said the foundation has to be done first, which they don’t have enough money for.
A chunk of the money would be used to put in the wood foundation, estimated to cost about $1,200.
Once that is completed, one of the buildings would be used as an infirmary for animals that have returned from surgery or other procedures, as well as a place where the animals can have birth.
The other building will be used for a permanent cat enclosure, which will allow the shelter to house up to an additional 30 cats and put all the cats together in one place.
“We would use some of the money to help furnish both buildings as well,” Brasil said.
Brasil said she would also use some of the winnings to put in additional kennels as well as purchase a vehicle that the shelter can use to transport animals. Currently, the shelter can hold 24 cats and 64 dogs at one time.
“We will implement a low-cost spay and neuter program once we get a vehicle,” she said.
Brasil said the shelter doesn’t have a veterinarian on site. For surgeries or other procedures, they would need a vehicle to transport animals to the Central California SPCA in Fresno, which gives them a discount on their services.
Brasil said the shelter is going up against far larger ones in the HomeAgain competition and said it will need a lot of community support to win.
“We’re going up against some very stiff competition,” she said. ‘With us being so new and so small, it’s going to be tough. We’re going to need the community to rally behind us and vote every day.”
The winners of the competition will be announced on Nov. 3.