Petco grant will help improve JC animal shelter

Vanessa Gray (middle) — the JC animal shelter director — joined Jeff Lang (third from left) of Petco, Ty Holborn (second from left), the Petco store manager in Manhattan, and other staff at Manhattan's Petco Thursday to celebrate the announcement of a Petco grant for the shelter.

Months of hard work and anticipation finally paid off for Vanessa Gray and the Junction City/Geary County Animal Shelter with the recent award of a grant for the organization. 

The Petco Foundation recognized the shelter’s success in its mission to save pets’ lives by awarding it a $25,000 grant. The funds will help the shelter enhance its ability to support animal life-saving efforts in Junction City. Gray — the shelter’s director — discussed the process to earn the grant Thursday during a ceremony at Manhattan’s Petco.

“The grant process is pretty rigorous,” Gray said. “It took me probably three months to fill out the grant applications because they kind of dig into a lot of the numbers; what you’re going to use it for, how the shelter has been running. So they really want to know the background with it. So it took about three months to apply for it, then after that, it took about five months to hear back that we got it. Once I got the e-mail, I cried. We started small with this one just because we wanted to even see if we got it. And we did, so we have big plans for this next coming grant cycle.”

The shelter has big plans for the funding, and will look to use the money to improve the shelter in multiple aspects. 

“For this one, we are going to be starting a voucher system,” Gray said. “So, it’s a discounted voucher for the local community. We have money set aside for that; a lot of capital improvements. We did just re-do one of our yards for the dogs. It’s going to be kind of an agility enrichment and training yard. So it’s going to be very useful; we used part of this grant money for it. The rest is going to be capital improvements here and there, miscellaneous projects. We have cat cages coming in that are a lot bigger, so that will help the cats.”

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