At 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 29th, a ground-breaking ceremony will take place at the Cherokee Village Animal Shelter, 1531 Hwy 289 North. The ceremony will mark the first phase of a transformation that comes about as a result of funds gifted by Vlasta “Val” Pour (18 August 1923-25 January 2022) and Lois K. Mock (18 December 1925-8 June 2022). Animal shelter staff and volunteers, along with the Mayor and members of the City Council will be present as Perky Construction, of Cave City, readies the new site of the feline facility.
Following their retirement, Val Pour and Lois Mock were very active as members of the Women’s Golf Association, the League of Women Voters, Monday Morning Ladies’ Bowling League, and CVUMC. They also established and maintained a Lifeline System, and were charter members of the Friends of Homeless Animals. Val and Lois loved cats and dogs, as well as the people and the life they enjoyed as residents of the Village for more than forty years.
Assets of the Trust established by Val as ‘Val Pour’s Passion and Support of the Cherokee Village Animal Shelter’, and Lois’s ‘Friends of Animals Fund’ were released to the beneficiaries with the stipulation that the funds gifted to the City of Cherokee Village are to “…only be used for the benefit of the Cherokee Village Animal Shelter.” In addition to the Trustees, Colleen L. Cartledge, who is Ms.
Pour’s niece, and Pat Sasfai, close friend of Ms. Mock and former CV resident, Mary DeWitt and Russell Stokes were named advisors for disposition of the funds. Facility design, proposals, bids, and construction will be the responsibility of a committee named by Mayor Steve Rose.
The land that the animal shelter occupies was originally an equestrian center, then a private riding stable and, at some point in the 1970s, the remaining buildings were simply used for storage. In 2004, Cherokee Village Mayor Ray Maynard and Cherokee Village Suburban Improvement District negotiated a long – term lease agreement to transform the unused property and aging buildings into
an animal control facility.
Since that time, squadrons of volunteers have cleaned, insulated, and painted the two buildings that house the animals. Attempting to address the issue of the number of animals relinquished and abandoned throughout the City, at least three low-cost spay/neuter clinics have been conducted each year, while local retailers and members of the community have generously contributed food, beds and toys, and cat litter. The City has employed an animal control officer and part-time assistant, paid for the utilities, and maintained the grounds and structures at the site.
Earlier this year, anonymous donors enabled the acquisition of the former equestrian center, encompassing approximately three acres, from CV-SID at which point the City was able to fully fence and secure the grounds. The dogs and cats that await fur-ever homes while in the care of the Cherokee Village Animal Shelter will soon find their housing and other features replaced or renovated.