Screven County animal lovers and animals alike will celebrate the opening of the new Screven County Animal Shelter when it officially opens Wednesday preceded by an open house from 10 a.m. to noon.
The existing shelter was built at least 30 years ago, said Thomas Lariscy, animal control officer and director of the shelter for the past 10 years.
The new shelter, located right next door to the old one on Rocky Ford Road, has 52 kennels, said Lariscy, a vast improvement from the 18 kennels the old shelter used to house the 1,200-1,500 animals that come through the shelter during an average year.
After the new shelter opens Wednesday, the old shelter will still be used for a while, said Lariscy, until all equipment and animals are transferred into the new building.
Lariscy denied rumors that all animals currently housed in the old shelter would be euthanized upon the opening of the new shelter.
"It's a known fact that a certain number of animals are put down each year," said Lariscy, "and they can only be held for so long with limited space."
He said the majority of the animals currently housed would stay in the old shelter until adopted or sent to a rescue group during the time of transition into the new facility.
The number of animals euthanized during the coming weeks has nothing to do with the move into the new shelter, Lariscy said.
"No more (animals will be euthanized) than is the normal practice for the shelter that sees 1,200-1,500 animals come through the shelter each year," he said.
"Only those animals that are sick or unadoptable will be euthanized," Lariscy told the Statesboro Herald Thursday.
"We will do everything we can," he said, "like we've been doing to find [Screven animals] homes and get them adopted."
Lariscy said the public is invited to the open house and he hopes people come to see "what their tax dollars have paid for."
Tours will be given Wednesday through the new building, said Lariscy, and the new shelter will officially open its doors at noon.
For more information about the open house or adopting a Screven County animal, call (912) 978-1491.