It’s been months, but at last, news worth posting: We have reached an agreement to buy property for Shep’s Place! The deal is contingent on us selling our current house, so it is not 100% certain yet. But the odds are good that we’ve found a home.
The property is on the northeast corner of the Truman Rd / MO-291 interchange in Independence, MO, which makes it easily accessible. We looked at land in the country, but felt a city location would give us a better pool of volunteers and adopters. If you hike back onto the property, though, it feels like you’re in the country. It’s the best of both worlds.
We are actually buying two adjacent properties. Each has an old house near the road, with ample, undeveloped land behind. Ann and I plan to live in one house, and refurbish the other to be the Sanctuary. Both properties are zoned Industrial, which is important, because animal care facilities are not allowed in Residential zones. The surrounding properties are also Industrial, which is fortunate, because you can’t locate an animal shelter within 200 feet of a residential property.
The house itself will require a good deal of work to be turned into a Sanctuary. There is an attached garage that can be converted into a kennel room. Inside the house, there is a kitchen, living room, 2 baths, and 3 bedrooms that can be transformed into workspaces, an office, and dog hang-out space. We will have to add lighting, drainage, ventilation, kennels, play yards, a sprinkler system… like I said, a lot of work. Then we’ll have to pass inspection with the city and state. It won’t happen overnight.
This house is only intended to be Phase 1 of Shep’s Place. It will be able to service 6-10 dogs. Down the road, once we’ve proven our sustainability, we’d like to build a larger Phase 2 Sanctuary. Fortunately, there is a beautiful spot and lots of land (10 acres!) behind the house where we can someday build.
It is important to note that all of these plans are preliminary. They are just ideas Ann and I have come up with over the past few months. Once we have the place in hand, we want to start meeting with interested parties and volunteers, to show you firsthand what we’ve got, and solicit your input and advice. We will decide together how we want to proceed.
On a personal level, I feel like we’ve crossed a boundary into a new realm. For months, all our efforts have been focused on acquiring this property, but now we’ve moved past that into a whole new set of challenges. It’s no longer hypothetical; it’s actually happening. Dilly dilly!