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Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society’s new facility

Shelter grand opening set for Saturday

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The Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society.  (Photo by Eric Deagle and Mike Kucera)

After many years of hopefulness and four full years of planning and construction, the Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society (GMHS) has moved to its new facility at 6722 Sutton Road in Gloucester County. The GMHS has moved from its home of 25 years on Rangtang Road to its new facility built solely with private contributions, with a generous assistance from Mathews County, and with gracious donations from regional vendors and businesses.

While the lion’s share of the $3.2 million needed to complete the facility has been raised, the GMHS finds itself $300,000 short of being free from building debt. It is vital to the organization that the building be fully funded and not draw mortgage payments from the operating fund necessary for everyday running of the shelter. Donations designated for the Shelter Building Fund will continue to be accepted in hopes of reaching this monumental goal.

The new shelter provides approximately 15,000 square feet of space for the homeless pets of the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck communities. In addition to new housing for dogs and cats, the building includes a separate room for small animals such as rabbits and ferrets, a “nursery” exclusively for puppies, and segregated areas for the observation and care of animals that have health or behavioral issues.

The animals have moved from severely over-crowded, run-down, patched-up crates and cages to well-apportioned, easily viewable, properly ventilated, clean pre-adoption kennels and cages. The staff and volunteers have moved from cramped work spaces, leaking plumbing and primitive cleaning gear to an establishment with work spaces for daily tasks and animal care, state-of-the-art cleaning systems, and a facility worthy of their selfless dedication to the animals they serve.

The new Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society Shelter depends on the active support of volunteers in the daily care of the animals and the facility. New volunteer programs are organized and under way, offering opportunities to assist with animal care and socialization, facility tours, administrative duties, and shelter maintenance. The new shelter is also home to a volunteer-staffed gift shop with unique items for pets and people.

The shelter will host a grand opening event for the community on Saturday, August 1, from 9 a.m. to noon, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. There will be refreshments, facility tours and special adoption opportunities.

The GMHS is now open to the public on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Sundays for adoptions only from 1 to 4 p.m. You can also visit the Humane Society on the web at http://www.gloucestermathewshumanesociety.org.

posted 07.27.2009

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