Officials cut ribbon on animal services facility
— Officials and community members celebrated a new beginning for animal services on Saturday as they looked back and made plans for the future during a ceremony to open Cecil County Animal Services.
The animal services facility is located in the former Cecil County SPCA building at 3280 Augustine Herman Highway just south of Chesapeake City, which was purchased by the county earlier this year, along with
12-acres of property and other buildings.
A brief ceremony was conducted outside before tours of the facility were held from about noon until 4 p.m. During this four-hour window, adoption fees were waived and 11 animals were adopted, said Abigail Bingham, director of Cecil County Animal Services. Each new adopted parent also got to take home a free goody bag donated by event sponsors Petco and VCA Elkton Animal Hospital.
County Director of Community Services David Trolio oversees animal services and was doing his best Saturday to encourage attendees to take home a pet or two. The facility had 10 dogs and 100 cats and kittens available Saturday.
The glut of kittens recently, one of the volunteers explained, is due to “kitten season” when many are born each year. Kittens of all colors peered out and poked their tiny paws through their cat cages on Saturday as potential families peered back and played with them.
Three cats were adopted
during the first 20 minutes.
Judith Davis of Elkton was one of those who couldn’t resist adopting. She eagerly took home two grey, nineweek-old kittens named Ron and Harry.
“My grandchildren will probably rename them as soon as they see them,” Davis said, almost giddy as she left with her kittens in a box and a bagful of goodies.
During the ceremony, Trolio thanked all the county employees and the animal services staff and volunteers for creating this new facility and service for residents.
“Collaboration is the key to this effort and its success,” Trolio said, as he praised several people for their work.
When speaking of Bingham, Trolio jokingly said she has a combination of the attributes of a German Shepherd and a Golden Retriever, including loyalty, courage, enthusiasm and dedication. He described her as driven, inspired, thoughtful and methodical, saying, “We hit a home run with her.”
Bingham thanked everyone who worked on the project.
“The heart of the people and the community is what sets Cecil County apart,” Bingham said, as she told the story of a dog named Duke that had the odds stacked against him but now has a second chance thanks to many who worked to save him.
County Executive Tari Moore, who led the effort to reinvent animal control services in Cecil County, reflected on the efforts of the late Allaire duPont, a Chesapeake City resident and known animal lover, that made Saturday possible.
“She (duPont) donated this 12-acre site many years ago for animal services,” Moore said. “It’s all part of the story and legacy of caring for animals in Cecil County.”
Moore also held up an engraved plaque honoring duPont that will be installed on a concrete bench at the entrance of the animal services building.
“It’s been an incredible journey of ups and downs that has led us here today,” Moore said. “My heart is blessed.”
Animal Services Director Abigail Bingham, center, gets help from county officials to cut the ribbon at the facility.
A visitor plays with one of many kittens up for adoption at Cecil County Animal Services Saturday.