The animals have settled into their new home at 5051 Letterkenny Road West, but the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter’s move won’t be official until the doors open at the new building on Thursday at 11 a.m.
“We couldn’t have made the move without a lot of volunteers,” said CVAS Director of Communications Jennifer Vanderau.
The animals made the move Saturday from the former shelter at 2325 Country Road to the new, state-of-the-art facility that is at the Letterkenny Army Depot.
In the final hours before the doors open Thursday, Vanderau said staff will clean and organize.
The new shelter will provide space for about 130 cats and 70 dogs, which is twice as many as the former shelter would accommodate, said Bill Gour, director of development for the shelter.
“The current shelter has served its purpose. It was beyond its capacity and it was time to move,” Gour said previously.
Shelter officials began a $4.2 million Rallying to Relocate Capital Campaign, with construction to be held in three phases.
Gour said earlier this month that at the end of phase two, the project was hampered by the economic downturn and some false starts and then regained momentum at the end of 2011.
Last summer, shelter officials were faced with sinking more than $65,000 into the old shelter or adjusting the phases of the new shelter project in order to move into the building.
“That was the tipping point when we realized that it was ridiculous to put money into a building that we weren’t going to stay in,” Vanderau said.
To get into the new building, Gour said money was pulled from fundraising, pledges and donations. In addition, shelter officials tapped into their endowment as well as their line of credit, borrowing money for the first time.
It could cost about $1 million to complete the new shelter and pay back the line of credit, Gour said.
While some of the areas are not complete, Vanderau said the move was necessary.
“I’m hoping people understand what it is that we are attempting to do. I’m hoping they can see our vision for the future because we still need help (to complete this project),” she said.
There are still a number of areas to complete, including the kennels in the dog adoption area, an underground tank to collect rain water for kennel washdowns, private cat cubbies and critter cubbies.
But, Vanderau said there are a lot of benefits for the animals in the new location.
“People that I have taken through have been quite shocked at the dog kennels because the dogs are not in wire cages anymore,” she said.
“The theory was to make it less stressful so we can transition them into their new home,” she said.
There are four separate bonding rooms so visitors can spend private time with animals.
Vanderau said an open house will be held in the near future so the public can see the new shelter.
A spaghetti dinner will be held on Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. at Chambersburg Area Senior High School cafeteria to raise funds for the Retire the Debt Capital Campaign (formerly the Rallying to Relocate Capital Campaign). Tickets cost $5 in advance and $7 at the door. For more information log onto www.cvas-pets.org.