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Savannah Opens New Animal Shelter

By Emily Cassulo
By ecassulo@wbbjtv.com

The City of Savannah's animal shelter has officially opened, after being under construction for two years.

Workers held a grand opening for the shelter Sunday afternoon, and they are bringing in the dogs and cats on Monday.

Charlie Nickle, director of Savannah Animal Services, told 7 Eyewitness News they are very excited to finally open the shelter. Hardin County does not have animal control, and officials said the old shelter on Airport Road is overcrowded.

"We had far exceeded the capacity of the old shelter and the old facility was in poor repair," Nickle said.

Back in February, Savannah's old shelter had about 40 dogs and cats, more than double capacity.

The new shelter will already have 10 more animals, but workers said there is plenty of room for them this time.

Both the cats and dogs have their own areas, and will have outside exercise space.

"Being closed in kennels, they often times get anxious because they don't have the exercise that they need," Nickle said.

Workers said the shelter has better plumbing and sewage, designed for all the dogs and hair, and the cats and dogs will have their own beds.

They said the shelter is welcoming to not just animals, but people too.

According to Nickle, 10 people have already adopted since last week, and four more people stopped by Monday morning looking to adopt.

Workers said they are confident that will continue.

"This is a much more adopter friendly shelter than the old one," Nickle said. "We have done a lot to bring the adopter in, so it's a nice place, it's a friendly place. It's warm and inviting, rather than just being a stark shelter."

It costs $80 to adopt a dog, and $75 for a cat. That includes spay and neuter, microchipping, shots, and 30 days of free pet health insurance.

Nickle said, for now, they will use the old shelter for storage.