SIDNEY — A dream is coming true with the opening of the new Shelby County animal shelter.
The board of directors of the Shelby County Animal Rescue Foundation (SCARF), the staff of the Shelby County Animal Shelter, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and the Shelby County Commissioners have announced the opening of the new state-of-the-art Bob Sargeant and Family Shelby County Animal Shelter and Adoption Center will be in November. The exact date the new animal shelter and adoption center will be open to the public for dog and cat adoptions is still to be set.
However, a ribbon cutting ceremony will be held on Sunday, Nov. 10, at 2 p.m. The ceremony will be immediately followed by an open house until 5 p.m. Tours of the animal shelter and adoption center will be offered during this time.
“The commissioners are extremely pleased to have this new facility opening for the benefit of the Shelby County residents,” said Commissioner Julie Ehemann, who also serves on the SCARF board. “The new shelter will create a much better pet adoption process for everyone involved.”
The new shelter will be manned by two deputies and one part-time civilian, said Shelby County Sheriff John Lenhart.
“We are very pleased with the new facility,” said Lenhart. “This is going to be a benefit to the animals of Shelby County.”
Lenhart said he extremely proud of all the donations received from local residents.
“When it was first talked about, I didn’t think we could get $2.4 million in donations,” he said. “But the number of people — from Joe and Nichole Laber to Commissioner Julie Ehemann — involved was outstanding. We had several large donations from the Sargeant family and Lawrence Piper that helped us.
“And then the number of school kids who brought empty pop cans to school also helped with the fundraising,” he continued.
Lenhart said he’s especially proud that no levy or tax money was used for the construction of the shelter.
In addition to the deputies and civilian worker, Lenhart said the jail’s inmates will be used to help clean cages and other work around the shelter.
“We looking at lots and lots — let me say again — lots and lots of volunteers who help at the shelter,” said Lenhart. “They might volunteer to work at the shelter or they’re exercising the animals. Hundreds of people participated in the campaign.”
“We would like to invite all of our donors who helped to make the Bob Sargeant and Family Shelby County Animal Shelter and Adoption Center a reality to this event. Without these donors and the support of our community, this dream could not have become a reality. Anyone else interested in visiting or learning about the new Bob Sargeant and Family Shelby County Animal Shelter and Adoption Center is also welcome to attend,” said Joe Laber SCARF board member. “It’s exciting to see the community support the hope this new shelter and adoption center will represent for many years to come.”