AMSTERDAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Montgomery County SPCA (MC-SPCA) broke ground on its new home earlier this week. The modern, up-to-date shelter and veterinary space are expected to be ready for the organization to complete its relocation in Spring 2023.

The project represents a $3.2 million investment in the future of animal welfare, given by individual donors, foundations, and other sources. The new home will provide numerous upgrades over the current 65-year-old MC-SPCA building and has been five years in the making.

“There’s a lot that we could, and did plan for,” said Jan Zumbolo, President of the MC-SPCA board of directors. “But we weathered a pandemic, building material cost increases, skilled labor shortages, and a number of other challenges to get to today.”

Members of the community, friends of the SPCA, and officials including Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, Montgomery County Executive Matt Ossenfort, and City of Amsterdam Mayor Michael Cinquanti were on hand to celebrate the milestone and dig a shovel into the ground.

State Senator Michelle Hinchey announced a state grant of $50,000 to support the new building. “Montgomery County SPCA is a haven for defenseless animals, and I am incredibly proud to deliver $50,000 to support the expansion of their facility so they can protect more animals and serve more pet owners throughout Montgomery County,” Senator Hinchey said. “This funding is an investment in the Montgomery County SPCA’s ability to offer low-cost veterinary care, shelter services, education about animal welfare, and a caring home for homeless pets until they find their forever home.”

In announcing a grant of $250,000 to support the project, Assemblyman Santabarbara shared, “The Montgomery County SPCA provides an essential service that addresses a growing need in our community. They serve thousands of homeless animals each year and make connections that make families complete.”

“This project has been a long-time in the making and I’m thrilled to see it come to fruition,” Montgomery County Executive Matthew L. Ossenfort said. “The MC-SPCA plays an instrumental role in our community, and I look forward to watching their ability to shelter and care for animals continue to grow once the relocation is complete.” County Executive Ossenfort announced a $250,000 grant from the County to support the new shelter.

The building project was originally envisioned to update the more than 65-year-old facility to accommodate program expansion such as humane education, low-cost veterinary care, sheltering, and volunteer opportunities. The need for the programs and expanded service has been proven over the past year, with 2021 being a record year for adoptions from MC-SPCA, Zumbolo said. Sheltering is just one of the services that MC-SPCA will better provide with the new building. The project is designed to meet the needs of the local area and best serve the animal population for years to come.

The Neena Rao Family Animal Care & Adoption Center will bring increased functionality to make it a warm and welcoming place for animals in the care of MC-SPCA. Humane education programs will keep pets and families together and launching low-cost spay and neuter services for the community means that this important service will be available in-house, saving on costs and increasing the number of pets MC-SPCA can serve.

“It’s wonderful to be in a community that truly supports what we’re doing,” Zumbolo said. “Throughout the entire county, from St. Johnsville to Amsterdam, the support we see for the care and well-being of animals is really encouraging. Businesses and individuals are stepping up to help, and thanks to their support, come this spring Montgomery County will have an expanded home for the SPCA.”