ST. AUGUSTA -- An animal shelter in central Minnesota is looking to expand.

Second Chance Animal Care in St. Augusta was started back in February and is currently home to 18 cats and kittens and six rabbits. The shelter has also already found permanent homes for 21 kittens and a duck.

Owner and Director Sheri Meline says she and her boyfriend started the shelter together because of their shared passion for animals.

We thought an animal shelter would be something both of us would want to do and be able to do even after retirement just because that's where our passion is. So we applied for 501(c)(3). We got that at the end of May and we purchased a 20-acre property with a farm and several outbuildings at the end of June and moved in.

Currently, the shelter has a cat enclosure and a stall for farm animals, but a new facility would allow them to take in dogs as well. Meline says they were going to renovate a barn on the property but decided to build new instead.

We were going to renovate our barn to be our shelter, but it's over 100 years old. We've been doing a lot of work on it and we just feel that a new facility would be a better environment for animals that we take in. Right now we just kind of have makeshift use of our outbuildings.

She says they are looking to build an 80 by 80 building on the property to house roughly 20 dog kennels on one side and 20 cat kennels on the other.

In order to accomplish the build, the shelter is looking to raise $160,000 and are doing so by applying for grants, holding a 50-50 raffle, running an online silent auction, and selling craft items such as bandanas, collars, and dog beds. Donations can also be made directly through their website.

Meline says the goal is to have the new building completed by March.

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