POINT PLEASANT — The Mason County Animal Shelter has added a storage facility to its grounds thanks to a Claflin Foundation Grant.
This week, county officials and Stephen Littlepage, administrator of the Robert and Louise Claflin Foundation, gathered at the shelter to check out the new building. Also in attendance, shelter staff Betty Neville and Gary Trout and Brent Sang of French City Builders which is where the building was purchased.
The $13,000 grant resulted in the purchase and installation of the 30-feet-by-40-feet building used for storing everything from dog food to a lawnmower. County Administrator John Gerlach said the building frees up much-needed space inside the actual shelter where animals and staff spend their days.
This grant had no matching funds and 100 percent funded this project. Littlepage said the Claflins were well known for taking care of animals, particularly strays which had no home, so funding a project at the shelter was a perfect fit. Littlepage said animal care is a core area the foundation looks at when awarding projects.
The shelter has benefited from the Claflin grant a few times already, including funding a bath area and outdoor kennels which allow the dogs to be placed out in the fresh air in a secure, shaded environment.
Also working on the project, county employees helped pour the concrete foundation and Rollins Excavating did the excavation work.
This is the fourth year the foundation has been awarding grants in every corner of the county. Although Louise Claflin was a native of New Haven, Robert moved there from Massachusetts as a young man to begin a long-time career with Vanadium Corporation, also known as Foote Mineral Company. He was educated in the Northeastern University chemist program and was a financial contributor as an alumnus.
Without children of their own, the couple was said to be immersed in community and church activities – they attended New Haven Church of God. They focused on personal health and wellness, enjoyed reading and strongly believed in academic achievement in the education setting and realized the betterment of self in the classroom of life.
Again, the couple was also devoted to the care of stray animals in the community by providing food, companionship and sometimes, shelter to cats and dogs, which, again, makes the donation to the animal shelter fitting, to say the least.
The Claflin grants are awarded every fall in the areas of personal health/wellness, literacy, education, arts/music, animal care, health maintenance and prevention. For those wishing to find out more about the Claflin grants, call Littlepage at 304-675-1360.