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Animal Shelter holds grand opening

Staff and Board Members of the Adams County Humane Society gather on June 20 for the ribbon cutting of the newly opened Animal shelter. Pictured, from left, Jessica Huxmann (current Board President), Nick Mason (Shelter Manager), Amanda Cantrell (Kennel Manager), Anita Harover (Board Member), Karen Franklin (Board Vice President), Brian Mason (Treasurer), Teresa Grooms (Board Member), Phil Miskell (Board Member), Vonda Jones (Board Member), Sally White (former Board Member), Bob Smith (former Board President), and Richard Potter (former Board Member).

Former Board President Bob Smith capably handles the honors of cutting the ribbon at last weekend’s grand opening ofthe new Animal Shelter.

“Molly” the Pomeranian dog, a former Humane Society of Adams County dog that was rescued from an abandoned house in West Union in 2013 was adopted by a couple in Daytonwho drove to West Union to attend the Grand Opening on June 20.

In 2005, a local group of caring individuals got together and decided that the homeless companion animals of Adams County, Ohio, deserved more attention. Shortly thereafter, the Humane Society of Adams County was formed. This non-profit 501c3 organization is dedicated to providing humane care and treatment to all animals brought into the shelter. HSAC is also committed to providing educational and volunteer programs to the citizens of Adams County, concerning the humane treatment of animals, prevention of cruelty, abuse, neglect, and exploitation of animals. The goal of HSAC is further to reduce the pet over population in the county by offering low-cost spay/neuter clinics.

For years, the Board of Directors for the Humane Society met in a room of the National Bank of Adams County in West Union. The group’s main focus was acquiring enough money to build a brand new animal shelter. In 2012, that dream became a reality when ground was broken for the new facility in West Union. Construction of the shelter was completed in the spring of 2013. It took another two years of dedicated fundraising to finally have the capital to hire a staff.

All of the phone calls, letter-writing, organizing, dreaming, planning, and hard work have finally paid off as the new Humane Society Animal Shelter held its official Grand Opening on Saturday, June 20. The ceremony was attended by past and former members of the Humane Society’s Board of Directors, volunteers, staff, and many supporters. Girl Scout Troop 2973 helped set up and serve hot dogs, chips, and soda, which were generously donated by the Cantrell and Franklin families. Boy Scout Troop 60 presented the flag that will grace the front of the new Shelter building. Reverend Ronnie Baker gave a moving invocation which focused on Genesis 1:26 which calls on man to be good stewards over God’s creatures.

Jessica Huxmann, current President of the Board of Directors, gave a speech that emphasized the generosity of everyone who has helped to make the Humane Society a success. Many individuals contributed to the Humane Society through annual dinner auctions, ice cream socials, open house events, memorial brick sales, membership sales, t-shirt sales, calendar sales, pet food drives, spaghetti dinners, and other fundraising activities.

Huxmann went on to highlight one individual in particular who gave the majority of the funds needed to build the new shelter, Mr. Robert Smith of West Union. Mr. Smith’s vision of a safe, healthy shelter for dogs and cats is what inspired the original members of the Board of Directors to form the Humane Society ten years ago. The Smith family donated generously year after year to build the Shelter, and Mr. Smith personally oversaw the design and construction of the Animal Shelter building. The new shelter has 20 kennels for dogs and 26 enclosures for cats, as well as a meeting room, laundry room, office space, two-vehicle garage, and acreage for exercising the animals.

Over 70 visitors attended the Grand Opening of the Animal Shelter, about $450 was raised, and two dogs, one cat, and one kitten were adopted into to their new forever homes before the event was over. The new Animal Shelter will now be open Tuesday through Saturday (closed Sunday and Monday). To learn more about the Humane Society and the new Animal Shelter, please call (937) 544-8585 or visit www.adamscountyanimals.org.

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