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Animal Shelter Volunteers to Hold Meetings, Fund-Raiser

Jan. 6, 2004 – Valerie Peters hopes to raise enough money to help pump some life into the Animal Care Center of St. John.
"I said somebody's got to do something. It's a matter of rallying the troops," Peters said.
For starters, she's asking anyone interested in helping with a fund-raising dinner slated for March 5 to attend a volunteer recruitment session. It will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday at a Westin Resort and Villas conference room located across from the ballroom.
The actual committee meeting will be held at 5:30 Tuesday at the same location.
Peters said she is not a member of the Animal Care Center board, but plans to turn over money raised at the March 5 event to the center in hopes that it will be able to reopen.
The Animal Care Center has fallen on hard times. The shelter closed in October 2004, though there are still animals living there.
Board member Karen Brady said the center is trying to regroup.
"We hope to get people involved," she said.
The organization plans an open meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday. It will be held at the Mongoose Shopping Center where Mongoose Restaurant operated.
Brady said the former board, which fell apart after the shelter closed, still has four members. She hopes new board members will materialize at the meeting.
"We hope to shake the people out who are willing to spend time and do the work," she said.
She said the shelter will not reopen until it has $75,000 in the bank.
"That's six months' operating expenses," she said.
She said the Animal Care Center currently has $34,000 on hand. The organization has two kennel workers on staff to tend to the 12 cats and four dogs that still haven't found homes, but needs to hire a shelter administrator. The organization currently depends on a volunteer to coordinate the kennel staff.
Brady said when the shelter reopens, it will have a formal fund-raising plan.
"We're not going to do this in a rush," she said.
She said a survey of the community showed that St. John residents want the Animal Care Center to remain independent rather than joining forces with the Humane Society of St. Thomas.
Reach Peters at 714-6077 and Brady at 693-5453.

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