A Trumbull County animal shelter is expanding to a brand new, much larger facility.

Jason Cooke, who's been running the Healthy Hearts and Paws Projects from his own home, says this is a project that's about a year in coming.

The seven acre site on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Warren. Cooke acquired the land through the Trumbull County Land Bank for just $7,000.

The facility itself comes with a half-million dollar price tag.
Fundraising, donations and grants are covering that cost.

Besides Cooke's own shelter, there are only two other ones in Trumbull County.
He says this new facility by itself is only part of creating a better chance at life for local dogs and cats.

"Having a facility with more room will help in the short term, but long term eventually we're just going to fill up again," Cooke said. "So there needs to be change throughout the community, better education, programs to keep dogs in homes."

Cooke says lots of folks have been surrendering dogs lately because of economic problems, so that's something in the big picture he hopes to see change.
Cooke expects the work to wrap up by April - and the facility to be up and running shortly thereafter.