This will be no ordinary shelter for pets. While there are still several weeks before it opens, the delays have all been for the good of the animals. Frederick Hurley, director of Public Works, gave a tour of the building and highlighted many of the upgrades that the new shelter will have.
It had been recently hoped that the building would open in June, but Hurley said, "The additional funds kept us from finishing,and now we are looking at mid-August."
Hurley said that the donations of Frances Hair and Hazel Bouchard, left in their wills for the well-being of dogs in the shelter, gave back "value-added engineered items, and to put more back into the infrastructure that will be a benefit in the long term, and allows the building to be more expandable."
Hurley said that many in the community are responsible for creating a shelter that has all the bells and whistles they hoped it would have. He showed the areas that are already set up for expansion in the future, if need be.
During the Open House event, First Selectman Pat Llodra referenced the fact that the site had once been a water treatment plant. Llodra said, "Everytime we put a shovel in the ground, we found something we didn't want to find. There were a lot of hidden treasures."
Llodra said, despite challenges, "We have ended up with a facility that reflects the million dollar value. My husband asked me this morning what we will do with the old building, and I said, 'I am thinking of a bulldozer.'
As an additional event, Debby Aurelia, Town Clerk, had reserved the #1 Dog Tag to be selected by raffle after the month of June's dog licensing event. The winning ticket number 961, with the dog's name of Cinnamon, a Brussels-Griffon, was pulled from the Bazooka gum contained by Darryl, Dr. Brian Silverlieb's son.
Canine Advocates of Newtown President Virginia Jess spoke about the generosity of Silverlieb's heart and honored his family for coming. To see some of the highlights of the Center Opening, the speakers, and guests, visit the photo gallery.