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Concord-Merrimack SPCA breaks ground on new shelter

  • A rendering of the proposed new home of the Concord Merrimack County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

    A rendering of the proposed new home of the Concord Merrimack County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

  • A rendering of the proposed new home of the Concord Merrimack County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The new Concord-Merrimack County SPCA animal shelter is finally under construction.

The organization held a ground-breaking ceremony at the corner of Silk Farm Road and Clinton Street yesterday, five years after purchasing the property to replace a small and aging shelter in Penacook.

“What a tremendous day,” said Heather Faria, the local SPCA’s executive director.

After years of delay, the organization launched a capital campaign last year to build a new shelter.

“Our initial goal was $2 million, and we’re just about there,” Faria said.

Crews have already begun working on the 254 Clinton St. property, but their trucks and bulldozers fell silent for a brief ceremony yesterday afternoon. SPCA employees, board members and some of their dogs gathered to celebrate the milestone and pose for photos with shovels and hard hats.

“What can we say – it’s going to be absolutely perfect,” Faria told them, as she pointed to the open land behind a yellow farmhouse. That space will soon have a red, barn-like shelter, parking lot and outdoor areas for dogs. The new site will include a medical suite and isolated rooms for sick or injured animals.

At the current shelter in Penacook, cats are often kept in the offices, and other rooms have been converted into puppy pens or overflow space.

Construction of the new shelter is expected to take seven months, Faria said. Then, the SPCA can move out of its current home, a converted chicken coop on Washington Street in Penacook.

(Laura McCrystal can be reached at 369-3312 or lmccrystal@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @lmccrystal.)

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