FAIRMONT, W.Va. (WBOY) — The Marion County Humane Society held its groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday to celebrate the new shelter being built after the old shelter was torn down just over a week ago.

During the ceremony, retired minister D.D. Meighen said a prayer over the day and the new shelter to come, and Randy Elliott, President of the Marion County Commission, said a few words to congratulate the staff on their hard work and future facility.

The humane society originally started on Aug. 28, 1945. The last time this building was rebuilt was in 1978. According to county officials and humane society staff, the previous facility was dilapidated and very small.

Marion County’s new shelter building was made possible in part by the Estates of the following individuals:

  • Fleda Reed Moore
  • James Lee Garzia
  • Edgar Ryan
  • Lena West
  • Norma Hall

Shelter Director Jonna Spatafore said the new shelter should be up and running by March of next year, as long as there are no problems along the way. She was also bursting with emotion on the day of the ceremony.

“I’ve been walking like this high up off the ground since they tore the old building down a week ago,” Spatafore said. “So, it’s, I think today is more emotional than the demo. The demo was to be showing that we were going to have a new beginning. The fact that we have a new beginning today, you know, it’s like I’ve been wanting to cry since I got up this morning.”

All 18 years that he has been a commissioner, Randy Elliott has been an animal lover and a supporter of the Humane Society. When discussing how the day of celebration made him feel for staff members and the community, he said, “They’re very much needed here, and their love and care for the animals, is just amazing. So, the outpouring of love and care is now being shown by a brand new facility, a modern facility, that they’ll be very happy to be in.”

While the new animal shelter coming to the community is very exciting, the Humane Society still needs support for this $1.5 million project. It will hold a ton of future fundraisers in the near future, but you can directly donate here.

They will be at the Mannington Fire Department Celebration on June 25. There is also a “We Ride for Tail” poker run that they will be having on Aug. 20, located at the Copper House Grille. If you’re interested in keeping up to date with future fundraisers, you can find more information on the humane society’s Facebook page.