Buchanan Co. on its way to building first animal shelter - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Buchanan Co. on its way to building first animal shelter


Hundreds of stray animals face an uncertain fate in Buchanan County each year.  That's because the county has no shelter for them to go.  But there's a community group working to raise money to build a shelter, and a major donation is bolstering those efforts.

Tracie Hovden loves animals.  She runs a boarding service at her Littleton home, and her passion for four-legged friends goes even further.  Some 20 dogs at her home are strays she's taken in to help them avoid an unfortunate fate.

"The policy in Buchanan County right now, since we don't have our own animal shelter, they're shot on sight.  If they're within city limits of Independence, the sheriff will take them to Pipestone Vet Clinic in Independence," Hovden said.

That's why Hovden is involved with "Paws for a Purpose" in Buchanan County.  The group is trying to raise funds to build an animal shelter to house strays.

"We would like a shelter, you know, that we could have someplace to take them and it would be more accessible for people to come and actually adopt them," said Hovden.

Recently, the group got a big boost.  A 10-acre lot in Hazleton, valued at $80,000, was donated as the site to build a shelter.  Fundraising is well underway to secure the $280,000 needed to start.

Even for those who don't love animals, the shelter will step in to provide an important service for all of Buchanan County.

"A big burden for people in this area is strays being dumped in their area.  Even if they don't like animals doesn't mean they want to see them shot or hit by cars or to suffer.  And that's why happens if they're dumped on the roads," Hovden said.

To avoid that, the goal is for a new shelter to take shape within the next year or two,  offering the chance for pets to be adopted so that every animal has a place to call home.

You can help Buchanan County in its efforts to build a shelter.  This weekend, "Paws for a Purpose" will hold a scrap metal drive.  You can drop off unwanted scrap metal at Norby's Distributing in Independence from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday.

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