Officials dedicate city's new animal shelter
The crowd started packing into the building well before noon on Saturday. Workers inflated balloons at the front desk while food was being prepared out back.
Everyone was there for a common purpose: They were there for the grand opening and public tour of the new Mountain Home animal shelter.
During self-guided tours of the facility, people packed into the cat and dog kennel areas to view the sheltered animals, although not all of the visitors were there to adopt a pet that day.
"We already have two cats, and I don't think Dad will let us have another," said Kyleigh and Tyler Rohrs as they looked hopefully up at their mom.
Nearby, Luanne Evans smiled as she eyed a gray and white cat in the kennel.
"We came out just for the grand opening and to see the dogs and cats," she said. "All our critters at home are from a shelter."
Evans was impressed with the facility and what is has to offer.
"The new building is so bright and new. It's a wonderful place," she said.
Animal shelter assistant Nicole Nutting said the grand opening was not only fun to host but helped find homes for some of their animals.
During the grand opening, all three dogs in the shelter were adopted along with two cats. The normal adoption fee of $30 was waived for the event, and people really took advantage of the special offer, she said.
The new animal shelter was made possible by the generous donation from the estate of B. Jean Adams, who specifically mentioned the Mountain Home Animal Shelter in her will. Until recently, the benefactor of the $563,000 donation remained anonymous, but the family decided to go public last month.
The grand opening also included a ribbon cutting ceremony held in the parking lot of the new building.
"There was a big crowd of people from the city involved in getting the shelter designed, built and opened. It was real team effort," said Mountain Home Police Chief Nick Schilz in his opening comments during the ceremony.
Mayor Tom Rist then gave the crowd a little insider information about the very beginnings of the project.
"When we were told the city was mentioned in the will of B. Jean Adams, we were thinking it was a gift of $20,000 or something like that," the mayor said.
But once the city found out how much money it received to care for stray animals, officials made the decision to "build a real building instead of piece mealing it out," the mayor said.
Obviously, the city achieved that goal, he added.
Both Schlilz and Rist gave much of the credit for the design of the shelter and equipment choices to animal shelter superintendent Danniele Strain. She was instrumental in almost all phases of the project, so she was the obvious choice to cut the ribbon during the grand opening, they said.
Because the new animal shelter will be such a big part of the community, the city had a plaque created to commemorate the shelter, the event and the generosity of B. Jean Adams. The plaque is placed prominently in front of the new animal shelter near the main entrance.
"The animal shelter project has turned out better than can be expected," the mayor said during the unveiling of the plaque.
This shelter is now the envy of many other communities across the state, he added.
After the ceremony, the crowd was treated to a hot dog, baked beans and potato chip picnic lunch. Ray Corbus said the lunch topped off a great day for the community.
An added benefit of attending the grand opening was the opportunity of win a set of tickets for the upcoming Mountain Home Country Music Festival. Two set of tickets were raffled off with C.D. Houston and Humberto Fuentes named as the winners.
The new animal shelter is located east of the municipal airport at 295 Northwest Elmcrest in Mountain Home. It opens for business Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call the shelter at 587-2111 or go online to www.mountainhomeanimalshelter.org.