After years of providing animal services to Hamilton County from a 100-year-old building, the Humane Educational Society of Chattanooga (HES) celebrated the groundbreaking for their new, long-awaited animal facility on Thursday.
Last November, the county commission approved $10 million in funding for the new facility. The new shelter is being built on 6.8 acres in the area of Amnicola Highway and Highway 153 and will replace the 118-year-old building on Highland Park Avenue. The estimated cost is $13 million, with the additional funds being raised by private donors.
“While the county is thrilled to support this great and much-needed project, the philanthropy of our community has also helped make this dream a reality,” said Mayor Jim Coppinger. “We are very grateful for the donors who have also pledged their support towards this new facility. It will help take the care of Hamilton County’s animals to the next level.”
At the ceremony, Mayor Jim Coppinger, HES executive director Phil Snyder, and Zan Guerry gave remarks, and Board president Tai Federico announced the new name of the future facility, The Foy Animal Center.
The Foy Animal Center is designed to have modern, state-of-the-art animal confinement areas with appropriate air exchanges, making it more comfortable for animals and potential adopters alike. The 30,000-square foot center will feature a veterinary clinic that is able to handle surgeries such as spaying and neutering. It will also have separate entrances for adoptions and surrendering of animals, and will have an education center for children to learn more about the animals and the responsibilities that come with being a pet owner.
Named after contributors John and Trish Foy, the Foy Animal Center will be over will be able to house over 300 dogs and cats.
HES Board president Tai Federico said, “We are extremely thankful for the work that John and Trish Foy have done and continue to do for HES. Through their generous contribution, they have enabled HES to provide the best facilities and care for the homeless animals of Hamilton County and it is an honor to name our new facility after them.”