HERMITAGE — Shenango Valley Animal Shelter officials have taken another step toward the planned construction of a new facility.
The shelter’s board of directors has already selected the location, a piece of land along Lynnwood Drive and Hoezle Road in Hermitage. The board officially accepted the donation of the property on Thursday.
“The shelter has been blessed with outstanding donations,” Board President Duane Piccirilli said. Shelter Manager Angelia Sherman added that the donations were “very exciting.”
The gift amounts to 8.662 acres from the Community Foundation of Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio, and 2.183 acres from Tails of Hope. The layout allows for the possibility of a main driveway or entrance along Lynnwood, with a staff driveway located along Hoezle, Piccirilli said.
The new building would be next to Tails of Hope, which is partnering with the shelter on a catch-spay-and-release program for stray cats.
While the new shelter would be the primary use, other parts of the property, which includes a wooded area, could be used for a dog-walking trail or a pavilion area for fundraisers.
“The possibilities are limitless,” Piccirilli said.
Under the agreement, the shelter can’t sell the Community Foundation’s portion of the donation. If the shelter doesn’t build a new facility on the land, ownership would revert to the foundation.
Shenango Valley Animal Shelter’s new home will replace a 1,200-square-foot building on Broadway Road in Hermitage. Work on the new facility is in the design stages.
The Shah-nini George Foundation is planning a fundraiser in August to support the animal shelter, Tails of Hope, and the Mercer County Humane Society. Animal shelter officials hope to have a design for the new shelter available by then.
Fundraising efforts for the new shelter began earlier this year. In April, the shelter received a donation of $140,389.40 from Bob Pounds and Jill Snyder of Canfield, Ohio, in memory of Pounds’ late cousin Beverly Reszke of Fredonia.
Piccirilli said the board plans to raise funds not only to build the new building, but also to care for it.
“We want to assure the communities that this won’t be something we aren’t able to maintain. We’ll be able to afford to operate it,” he said.