A non-profit organization will soon open a new animal shelter in Faulkner County.

The Central Arkansas Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals will hold a groundbreaking on a 5-acre piece of property Friday just north of the Guy city limits. 

Karen Stone, president and CEO of the Central Arkansas SPCA, said the shelter, which the group hopes will open in January, will be 4,000-square-feet.

The shelter will be equipped to house as many as 40 dogs and several farm animals. 

"These could be anything from horses to cows to emus, whatever we get in," Stone said. 

The shelter, which Stone anticipates will fill up immediately, is also open to other counties. 

"We want to help other counties as well with this," she said. "This is for a problem that we have state-wide. There are no shelters in any county in Arkansas. All shelters now are city shelters. There is an animal population problem in our counties."

The Central Arkansas SPCA currently operates a cat shelter in Lonoke, and Stone said the building and enclosure that holds 50 cats will move to the location in Guy. 

The group is able to open the shelter for animals thanks to its Chief Financial Officer, Steve Martin, Stone said. 

Stone said that Martin, a resident of Wooster, has provided the property and up-front cost of building the structure.

Stone anticipates the shelter, which will have grooming and vetting areas, will operate at around $350,000 per year. 

"We’ve done research on what this will cost, and it’s at least $350,000 a year, minimum," Stone said. 

She hopes to partner with all local rescue groups as a means to move animals out of the shelter for adoption. 

Stone said the SPCA will rely on foster homes and adoption programs to provide for more room in the shelter.

"We’re not going to be a warehouse," Stone said. "These animals won’t sit in here for years. We hate the word euthanize, but those that aren’t adoptable or aggressive, we’ll have to look at that option. It’s a four letter word for me."

The Central Arkansas SPCA is not affiliated with the Faulkner County SPCA and Stone, along with its board of directors, participate in disaster relief state-wide. 

Stone is a certified animal cruelty investigator and works abuse cases in Arkansas. 

The Central Arkansas SPCA shelter will hold its groundbreaking event at 1 p.m., at 18 Five Star Ranch Road. 

Five Star Ranch Road is located off of Rowlett Road, which is off of Mill Bridge Road, connecting to Highway 25 past the Guy city limits. 

To reach the property, turn left onto Mill Bridge Road, right onto Rowlett Road, and a final right onto Five Star Ranch Road. 

A preliminary, incomplete plan of the shelter can be found on the group’s website at www.centralarkansasspca.org. There is also an option to donate at that address. 

For questions or for opportunities to volunteer, contact Karen Stone at 501-366-1293.

(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by e-mail at courtney.spradlin@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1236. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)