CAMDEN — The P.A.W.S. Animal Adoption Center in Rockport is currently “under contract” to purchase the former Camden First Aid Association property on John Street in Camden, according to paperwork on file in the Camden Planning Office.
Prior to closing the deal, all details of which are being withheld, including the closing date, P.A.W.S. is seeking a change of use permit from the town.
P.A.W.S. representatives are scheduled to appear before the Camden Zoning Board of Appeals Dec. 13. The organization recently filed an application for a Special Exemption Permitted Use with the town, and thus far, reviews by the town's Police Department, Fire Department and Roads Commissioner see no issue with the request.
Fire Chief Chris Farley recommended in his review of the plan, to convert the former ambulance service building into a nonprofit stray pet holding facility and adoption center, that the existing fire protection systems in the building remain fully operational.
Roads Commissioner Rick Seibel noted in his review of the plan that the existing road can adequately handle increased traffic and that access from proposed roads to existing roads appear designed for safety.
According to P.A.W.S. Board President Jean Freedman-White, through another board member, the organization has no comment about the organization's expansion plans. It is not known how much it will cost to buy the building, what the cost of renovations will be or whether P.AW.S. needs to raise money to achieve its plans.
"We are in negotiations and will have an announcement in a couple of weeks," said Joe Ryan, a P.A.W.S. board member Friday.
According to its website, in June 2012 P.A.W.S. launched a $1 million capital campaign to update and expand its current facility and to build a dog park.
"We have contracted with Maple Street Design architect, Joseph Russillo, to develop the plans, and we are very excited to be working with a local businessman who shares our vision for the health and well-being of the animals," according to the page. "The new facility will have room for 16 dog kennels and 76 individual kitty condos, for the cats and kittens. It will also contain isolation areas for newly arrived or sick animals and lab facilities for testing and treating. More storage space will enable us to purchase food and supplies in bulk, thus reducing our yearly expenses for those items. There will also be a large, multi-use room for classes, clinics, meetings and staff use."
The Jean H. Kislak Community Dog Park, adjacent to the P.A.W.S facility at 146 Camden St., was completed and opened to the public this past summer.
Editorial Director Holly S. Edwards can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 706-6655.