The Animal Shelter to Riverbank & Oakdale Foundation (ASTRO) announced that it has retained Animal Shelter Fundraising, a consulting firm specializing in helping animal welfare groups to conduct a fundraising feasibility study for the fundraising, marketing, and operations of the organization.
According to Jaydeen Vincente of the organization’s board of directors, the study will be conducted over a 12-week period to provide a comprehensive report assessing the readiness and ability to raise capital funds for a no-kill animal shelter. ASTRO is proposing construction of an approximately 8,000 square foot facility with projections to house over 2,000 animals per year.
Vincente estimated the group would need to raise $2.9 million for the facility.
“That’s the ultimate wish list to get everything we want,” said Vincente. “This study will study the practicability of fundraising for it.”
Tim Crum, founder and CEO of Animal Shelter Fundraising, stated in a press release that the objectives of a feasibility study for ASTRO are to develop a case for support for a new shelter, identify the amount of funding that can be raised and time required, pinpoint people willing to make leadership gifts to the project, gauge the readiness of the organization to engage in a capital campaign, and create a timeline in which to conduct the campaign.
Vincente points to the Tuolumne County humane no-kill facility in Jamestown as a model for the Oakdale one ASTRO would like to build.
“We want it large enough to house a non-kill privately operated rescue shelter and to be able to lease space to the city,” Vincente said. “We’re also looking for a nice, peaceful area where it could be built.”
The existing, 800 square-foot, concrete block, city shelter currently used by the city for Oakdale and Riverbank animals, was built 40 years ago and is located at the end of a little-used rural road between the police gun range and city’s sewer plant. At times the shelter holds upwards of 40 animals and is overcrowded.
According to ASTRO, the inadequate space contributes to a number of problems including fighting and spread of disease. It can be noisy and terrifying for the animals. Cats, as well as young and/or sick animals are very sensitive, and stressful conditions can make their health deteriorate rapidly.
When the new facility is built, Vincente pictures the center also being not just a shelter but a resource center for involvement of school-aged children in animal programs and the responsibility of pet ownership, incorporating humane education programs, and incorporating a volunteer program, which will teach students valuable skills while offering them the pride that comes with being part of the solution to animal homelessness.
“The fundraising feasibility study is a necessary next step in the process toward building a facility that will ultimately help us to save many more animals,” Vincente said.