SOUTH KINGSTOWN – The South Kingstown Animal Shelter will celebrate the grand opening of its new facility this Saturday, Aug. 18.
The new facility, located at 132 Asa Pond Road in Wakefield, was approved for construction in July 2009. Work to build the state of the art facility began in April 2010 and operations were moved to the new building last January.
“We went from a 800 or 900 square foot ranch to a facility three times as big,” said AnnMarie Biegner, manager of the South Kingstown Animal Shelter, also known as the South Kingstown Pound. “This facility allows animals to be safely and, hopefully, less stressfully housed.”
The pound was founded in 1980 and until 1995 it only handled stray dogs. Now, the shelter takes in animals from South Kingstown and Narragansett, including stray and abandoned dogs, cats, rabbits, birds and other small animals.
The larger space allows for the different types of animals to be separated. There is also a quarantine area for sick or potentially dangerous animals, a wash area and even a separate room for kittens and their mothers.
Members of the public are welcome to attend Saturday’s grand opening, which will include a “leash cutting” ceremony at 11 a.m., an open house from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., shelter tours, door prizes, a jewelry raffle and a silent auction with items from several local businesses.
The animals at the pound are available for adoption. The fee to adopt is between $80 and $120, if potential adopters are approved through an application process.
“We’re trying to decrease animal abandonment and increase ownership education,” Biegner said of the need for the application process. “Animals are not disposable.”
Those interested in adopting pets from the pound can visit the shelter, which is open daily, or view a list of animals for adoption on the shelter’s Petfinder and Facebook pages.
The South Kingstown Animal Shelter is different from the Animal Rescue League of Southern Rhode Island, also based in Wakefield.
The rescue league is a private non-profit organization that primarily deals with owners surrendering their pets, while the town shelter primarily handles lost and stray animals, according to Tammy Walter, executive director of the Animal Rescue League of Southern Rhode Island.
Celebrations for the grand opening of the South Kingstown Animal Shelter’s new facilities take place Saturday, Aug. 18, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 132 Asa Pond Road, Wakefield. For more information on the South Kingstown Animal Shelter visit http://members.petfinder.com/~RI33/index.html  or call 401-789-5515.