City officials hinted at taking the first step in a possible new or improved animal shelter.

Following the second influx of cash to the city’s general fund in recent weeks, Alderman and pet store owner Mike Pigg renewed his request for a new animal shelter. He made a similar appeal when the city received a $500,000 upfront payment for a new cell tower contract.

The city maintains an outdoor pound on East Orleans, where animals picked up by the city animal control officer are kept until their owners retrieve them.

Speaking at the Feb. 18 board of aldermen meeting, Pigg requested that a portion of the funds received for the sale of the city museum building be allocated for an animal shelter.

Mayor Herb Adams said he believes the city has sufficient money in the general fund to improve the animal shelter.

“I believe we can handle that from the general fund,” Adams said. “I’ll get with Harold (Selby, city administrator) and we’ll see what we can do.”

Pigg, an animal safety advocate, said he does not have a specific plan for a new animal shelter.

“At one time, I sat down with the code enforcement and animal control officers and we made a wish list,” he said.

An ideal shelter would be a pole barn-type structure with individual kennels that open to the outside for individual outside runs.

“Ideally it should be a place where people could come to look at the animals to possibly adopt,” Pigg said. “The real goal is to have a ‘no kill’ program where abandoned pets can get a home.”

The current animal shelter is roofed with three-quarter concrete walls. It has doghouses, with straw and blankets to protect animals from the extreme cold.

“You can actually take your jacket off in there,” Pigg said. “So the animals are comfortable.”

Animals are kept at the Pacific shelter for several days, he said, giving owners time to retrieve them. Those that are not claimed are eventually taken to the Franklin County Humane Society.

“If they are not adopted they can eventually be euthanized,” Pigg said. “I want to see the city step up to the modern era and open a ‘no kill’ program.”