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Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter cuts ribbon on new home

April 04, 2013|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com
  • Franklin County Commissioner David Keller and Chambersburg Borough Councilwoman Peggy Shank, right, talk with Connie Woody, a Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter animal care technician, who's holding Betty Jo, a beagle up for adoption.
Photo by Roxann Miller, Staff Writer

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter’s new home at 5051 Letterkenny Road West officially was dedicated Thursday during a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The move from the former shelter at 2325 Country Road to the new $3 million, state-of-the-art facility at Letterkenny Army Depot was complete on Jan. 31.

More than 100 people, including elected officials as well as community and business leaders, gathered outside the shelter’s new home for its formal dedication.

“We waited for this day going on six years,” Nancy Gardner, president of the shelter board, said during the ceremony.

In 2007, Gardner and members of the shelter board embarked on a journey to build a new shelter to replace the antiquated and overcrowded shelter on Country Road.

“Nancy came to me about six years ago and said, “Hey, we need your help ... We are building this dog shelter and this is how much it’s going to cost,’” U.S. Rep Bill Shuster said.

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Shuster said he was a little shocked by the scope of the project, but said because of Gardner’s persistence and determination, the shelter became a reality.

“Seeing is believing,” Shuster said. “It just goes to show you that when communities work together and governments and private sector work together, good things happen. And that’s what this project is all about.”

The new shelter provides space for about 130 cats and 70 dogs, which is twice as many as the former shelter would accommodate, according to shelter staff.

Bob Wollyung, vice president of the shelter board, said the inside of the 12,000-square-foot shelter is not quite complete. It will cost between $800,000 and $900,000 to complete the job, he said.

There still are a number of areas to complete, including a row of kennels in the dog adoption area and the isolation area, an underground tank to collect rainwater for kennel washdowns, and private cat cubbies and critter cubbies, Wollyung said.

“We have a more modern facility than what we had before,” he said. “This facility is quiet, and we have room for expansion.”

Gregg Thompson, director of business development for Brechbill and Helman Construction Co. Inc., said the new animal shelter will be the first shelter in Pennsylvania to receive LEED Silver certification. It will be the second shelter in the country to receive the certification, he said.

After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, friends Mary Herrick and Joy Brouse, both of Chambersburg, toured the new facility.

“It’s fantastic. It’s something that they needed for a long time, and it’s the best thing we’ve done in this county for a long time,” Herrick said as she walked through the dog adoption area.

She liked the new kennels that restrict the dogs’ view of each other, but allow visitors to view the dogs.

There’s not as much barking as there was at the old shelter, she said.

She also liked the water dispensers in each kennel and the heated floors.

“It seems like they have thought this out so well and have covered every base,” Herrick said.

Suzanne Golden of Chambersburg brought her grandson, Rylan Pottle, to the ceremony.

“It’s an amazing facility,” Golden said. “It’s nice to see the room that the animals have.”

The change is wonderful, she said.

“The nice thing about this shelter is you don’t hear all the crazy barking that you used to hear walking into the old shelter,” Golden said. “The animals seem more relaxed and more at ease.”

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