- Associated Press - Saturday, January 23, 2016

PAXTON, Mass. (AP) - The operators of a central Massachusetts animal shelter severely damaged by a fire in November say they plan to rebuild.

More than 50 cats and dogs died in the blaze.

Volunteers from Sweetpea Friends of Rutland Animals Inc., in Paxton, recently shared their progress with selectmen.

The Telegram & Gazette reports that Vice President Maria McDonnell says plans are in the early stages but the organization would like to have 20 indoor/outdoor dog kennels separated by concrete walls, a preparation area, a grooming area and a lobby with restrooms. Cats would be housed in smaller rooms.

The groups designing the shelter hope to include a fire alarm and protection system and a schedule for volunteers that would include mandatory nighttime checks on the animals.

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