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January 11, 2010

New St. Bernard Parish Animal Shelter Opens

VIOLET, La. — The new St. Bernard Parish Animal Shelter celebrates its grand opening Monday. The state-of-the-art facility replaces the original shelter destroyed during Hurricane Katrina, and was built with a $250,000 grant from The Humane Society of the United States, the nation's largest animal protection organization.

"The completion of the new shelter is a major step in The Humane Society of the United States' ongoing efforts to help the Gulf Coast region rebuild in the aftermath of Katrina," said Melissa Rubin, The HSUS' vice president for animal care centers and veterinary services. "We have worked closely with St. Bernard Parish officials since the storm devastated the shelter, and we are proud to have assisted in making their dream of rebuilding a reality."

"I am happy to get to the finish line with the project and extremely grateful for the partnership with The Humane Society of the United States, LASPCA, the Meraux Foundation and our local team," St. Bernard Parish President Craig P. Taffaro, Jr. said. "This new site offers St. Bernard a modern animal control facility that can house more animals and provide better services in a more central and easily accessible location."

The shelter will also be receiving a new custom-built transport vehicle purchased by The HSUS and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® at a cost of more than $80,000.

The truck, a Sprinter with built-in animal carriers, was built by Mavron, Inc. of Warsaw, Ind., the country's leading manufacturer of animal transport van and truck conversions. This vehicle will help the shelter bring adoptable animals to larger population areas where they will have a better chance of finding homes.

Besides being the major grantor of money for the new shelter and providing the truck in conjunction with the ASPCA, The HSUS is also assisting the Parish with the funding of shelter Executive Director Beth Brewster's position for three years.

There will be a grand opening ceremony on Monday at 2 p.m., followed by an open house where media and the public can tour the new facility.

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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.

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