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A plot of land off of Roberson Road in Florence's Industrial Park has been cleared of all the trees and after years in the making the new Florence-Lauderdale Animal Shelter will start to take shape.
Wednesday, city and county officials broke ground on the $3 million project. The building won't be called the Florence-Lauderdale Animal Shelter anymore but renamed Florence-Lauderdale Animal Services.
At least a hundred citizens were on hand for the event, and many people who volunteer at the current shelter were there too.
"Every bit of the last five years we've been waiting for this day," said Florence resident, Jennifer Larder. "They always say you can tell how compassionate people are by how they treat their animals. This is a step forward for our community and making the world a better place for our community pets."
Unlike the old shelter, city officials told WAAY 31 the new shelter will be state-of-the-art designed with cleanliness in mind.
"We can wash down and sanitize the areas at least twice a day and that takes some really exotic finishes to do that," said Florence Mayor, Steve Holt.
Right now the current animal shelter takes in around 400 animals a month, mostly dogs and cats. However, the new shelter will have more room and be able to accommodate more cats and dogs, plus larger animals.
"With this site we can handle large animals like; horses, cattle and hogs. We've never been able to handle that before so it's totally different for us," said Holt.
As for the old animal shelter, Holt said there has been some discussions about giving the old shelter building to the city's electricity department, since the two buildings are right next to each other.
"I know they need it. They are just cramped for room so I'm hoping that will work out," said Holt.
The shelter should be opened by October 2018.