MENANDS – It’s official. The new building at the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society is open for business.
While they have been working out of the new building for the better part of the summer, Wednesday, Sept. 27, was the official ribbon cutting ceremony for the $7.2 million, state of the art, 32,000-square-foot animal care facility.
“It certainly means we can help more pets, expand our programs and better serve our community but it truly means we can become a community destination,” said President and CEO Todd Cramer. “People can come and receive services, or they can come and visit if they just need a break from what is a busy life.”
The old 1913 barn – which was one of the first structures in the U.S. built with the purpose of being an animal shelter – served the shelter well over the years. But, with an adoption rate that has grown to some 4,000 animals a year and a facility that caters to animal control in 16 municipalities, MHHS was busting at the seams.
In the past, when things got a little too tight, the shelter would just haphazardly add another room or two to the original barn.
This time, though, things were done right thanks to an aggressive fundraising effort began under the former president and CEO, Brad Shear, and some help by the state Assembly. On hand for the ribbon cutting were members of the Assembly: John McDonald, Phil Steck, Pat Fahy and Mike Benedetto – a representative from the Bronx who gave up some of his discretionary money early on at the request of former Colonie Assemblyman Bob Reilly.
Also on hand were Menands Mayor Megan Grenier, representatives from the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce, the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce and BBL, the general contractor, as well as many staffers and volunteers.
“Animals will find sanctuary for a day or a week but people will be serviced here too. Many will find the greatest peace of their lives within these walls,” said MHHS Board of Directors Chairwoman Cynthia LaFave. “Today is a celebration of what we can do and what we have done. But most of all today is a celebration of the future.”
Click on a photo below to view a full size version of the rest.