Dozens of community members from Innsbrook, Wright City and Warrenton took a trip out into the cold on Saturday to help celebrate at the site of the future Wags & Whiskers animal shelter in the …
Dozens of community members from Innsbrook, Wright City and Warrenton took a trip out into the cold on Saturday to help celebrate at the site of the future Wags & Whiskers animal shelter in the village of Innsbrook. The nonprofit group planning to build the shelter hosted a groundbreaking ceremony Nov. 12 to celebrate the soon-to-begin construction of the 3,000-square-foot facility.
Representatives of the Wags & Whiskers nonprofit board of directors, the Innsbrook Village Board of Trustees, and Innsbrook Corporation thanked the gathered community members for all of their support to get the shelter effort this far.
“Our board knew when we took on this mission many, many years ago that this would take a village, and you’re a true testimony of it,” Wags & Whiskers Vice President Tracy Sator told the community members gathered for the groundbreaking. “Our success in operating our animal shelter will truly depend on this village.”
Sator commented that just finding a perfect location for the animal shelter was a long challenge worth acknowledging.
“You would think it would be easy to find a place to build an animal shelter” in a rural county, she commented. “But in reality it’s very hard. There’s a lot of factors that go into deciding where the shelter is an appropriate fit.”
Sator also later told The Record that Wags & Whiskers has signed a contract with Aaron Holiway, co-owner of Wright City Hardware and the American Oasis remodeling business, to serve as the general construction contractor for the animal shelter. The nonprofit hopes to get construction started by the beginning of next year.
Village of Innsbrook board Chairman Jeff Thomsen took a moment during the groundbreaking ceremony to applaud the years of effort that volunteers have put into planning and fundraising to create a no-kill animal shelter.
“It was uphill and downhill. There were some bad times. ... It was slow, and many thought that it would never happen. But it has happened, and is finally a reality,” Thomsen said. “We’re so thankful to have it here. ... We consider this to be a jewel in the crown for the village of Innsbrook.”
Charlie Boyce, CEO of the Innsbrook Corporation, offered his congratulations during the groundbreaking as well. The corporation was directly involved in acquiring and providing land for the animal shelter.
“You spark an idea and it grows in the community. It speaks volumes of the value of community to see everyone out here,” Boyce commented.
Boyce also announced that Innsbrook Corporation and the Missouri Pyrotechnics Association, the hosts of the annual Sky Wars fireworks show, are donating $10,000 dollars toward shelter construction.
Wags & Whiskers board President Katie Joyce said she is grateful to see that decades of effort toward providing better services for animals in Warren County are culminating in this moment. Even before the shelter, nonprofit volunteers have been providing community programs to find homes for stray animals, as well as offering low-cost or no-cost spay, neuter, and microchipping services to the community, Joyce said. Continuing and expanding those services is a primary mission of the shelter.
Wags & Whiskers still has major fundraising needs to complete the shelter, and is deeply grateful to every individual who has already offered support in the form of donated services, funding, or volunteer time, Joyce added.
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