Of­fi­cials cut rib­bon on an­i­mal ser­vices fa­cil­ity

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By CH­ERYL MATTIX

cmat­tix@ce­cil­whig.com

— 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

CH­E­SA­PEAKE CITY

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.”

CECIL WHIG PHOTO BY CH­ERYL MATTIX

An­i­mal Ser­vices Di­rec­tor Abi­gail Bing­ham, cen­ter, gets help from county of­fi­cials to cut the rib­bon at the fa­cil­ity.

CECIL WHIG PHOTO BY CH­ERYL MATTIX

A vis­i­tor plays with one of many kit­tens up for adop­tion at Cecil County An­i­mal Ser­vices Satur­day.

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