groundbreaking St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Chatham Township, NJ is a 70 year old, no-kill, non-profit facility that takes about 4,500 animals through its doors yearly. The offer training, therapy and education along with sheltering the animals until they can find a home. And now they are getting a well deserved and overdue $15 million dollar expansion which will allow them to triple their capacity.

In order to celebrate, they had a bit of an unusual groundbreaking ceremony. Three of their residents, Rohan the shepherd, CJ, an Irish water dog, and Nevar, a deaf Australian shepherd, lent a paw. The three pooches all got to make the first “digs” into the soggy ground as attendees laughed and applauded the dogs. Tennis balls had been lodged into the ground to encourage the dogs to dig, much to the pleasure of everyone and all the dogs got treats after their groundbreaking.

So far the shelter has raised $8 million toward the shelter from donations and an endowment and the renovations means a new dog-training facility, on-site shelter veterinary care and new isolation areas for sick dogs and cats. They are continuing to raise funds and are also going to sell naming rights.

And although the fundraising effort coincides with a lousy economy, [Elizabeth] McCorkle said she wasn’t worried about shelter supporters stepping up to the task.

‘I have a lot of faith in people and in what we’re doing is the right thing,” McCorkle said. “I believe our community will be there for us.” (NJ.com)

Best of luck to them! What a wonderful undertaking for the animals and a fun way to kick things off. 😀

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