(Municipality of Chatham-Kent)

Four years of planning, fund-raising and construction were completed on Thursday with the official ribbon ribbon cutting ceremony of the Chatham-Kent Animal Shelter on Park Ave. East.

The 6,200 square foot facility came about as the result of the formation of the Friends of the New Animal Shelter group in 2015.

The group had as its goal the replacement of a sub-standard facility that existed at the same site for several decades.

Project coordinator Lynn McGeachy praised the community that donated more than $1 million toward the $2.3 million cost of construction, calling the building something of which the Chatham-Kent can be proud.

Building Co-chairs Art Stirling and Marjorie Crew, who were both Chatham-Kent Council Members when the project got underway, took turns lavishing praise on segments of the community.

Crew called the building a model of community partnership while Stirling said the project required vision and leadership from individual donors, community groups and the municipality.

Mayor Darrin Canniff noted some 10 current and former council members who attended the ceremony as ample proof the project’s support within the municipality.

The public is invited to tour the state of the art facility Saturday, June 8 from 12 to 4 p.m.

The municipality owns the facility. Animal control has been contracted to Pet and Wildlife Rescue (PAWR).