NEWPORT, CARTERET COUNTY -

The Carteret County Animal Shelter is looking to build a new adoption center. The shelter director said they need more room for the animals and a better place for the public to come adopt these animals.

The Carteret County Animal Shelter has been around for almost thirty years. The shelter is hoping to build a new adoption center close by. Shelter Director Candace Christopherson said they're working with county commissioners to get land to start the building project.

"By having an adoption center, people aren't on that wow factor. They'll be more apt to adopt the right family member, and that will also help with adoption retention so we are not getting them back," Christopherson said.

The center also takes abandoned and neglected animals and houses them until they are ready for adoption.

Christopherson said the adoption center would mean more room for the shelter. Which in turn, means less animals being put down during those busy at capacity months.

Lisa Rasmussen is a volunteer at the animal shelter.

"We want rooms where people can come in and get used to the animals. A cat room where they can sit and play with the cats, and get a better feel for the cats. We try holding education classes too, but right now there's no room. There's no place to go," Rasmussen said.

Rasmussen is spear heading this project with county commissioners. 

"Over the past year, I've found that all the commissioners are pretty much on board with this. They've come out toured and they agree that we really need a shelter or adoption center," Rasmussen said.

County Manager Russell Overman said right now they're focusing on looking at property next door to the current shelter. However, there isn't an exact timeline as to when the county will decide.

Christopherson hopes the county will purchase the land. Then they would build an adoption center through fundraisers and grants.

"You know it's an older building. So, its harder to keep up appearances on top of trying to maintain for their well being as well," Christopherson said.

The county covers $175,000 for the cost of operations. The rest, about $149,000, is covered through donations, grants, and fundraisers.