FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (WKRG) — The Panhandle Animal Welfare Clinic needs help clearing the current kennels before a major renovation project.

PAWS is working to tear down and rebuild their current kennel and shelter area. The construction begins on Oct. 19.

“Our kennels are decades old, 30 plus years and there’s been thousands and thousands of dogs that have been housed in those kennels. So we are completely leveling our kennels up and we are building them from the ground up,” said Executive Director Ashley Degraaf. “We’ve already replaced all of our fencing in the backyard. We have several play yards where the dogs get enriched, all of that fencing has been replaced and now it’s time for the kennels. This is just to provide the dogs that do come into our care just a much more comfortable living.”

As of Oct. 13, the kennel has 92 dogs that need forever or foster homes.

“Earlier today we only had 80 and now we’re closer to 92,” said Degraaf.

PAWS is waiving all adoption fees for dogs from now until further notice. Fosters are also highly welcomed by PAWS staff for the month-long construction.

The shelter is a contracted animal rescue service for Okaloosa County taking in new animals every day. Degraaf said staff purchased and set up temporary shelters to continue to help any added strays or surrenders during the renovation.

“So we currently have to hold animals legally in Okaloosa County for five business days. With that being said, we will still be housing our strays,” said Degraaf. “We’ve set up temporary kennels in our back concrete yard area there. However, it’s not ideal holding. So we are hoping that the only focus on those will be stray animals.”

See all of the available dogs and cats online. Degraaf said without community support this renovation would not be possible.

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