SICSA breaks ground on $5M animal shelter in Washington Twp.

The Society for the Improvement of Conditions for Stray Animals (SICSA) broke ground Wednesday on a $5 million new facility in Washington Twp.

Nora Vondrell, executive director of SICSA, was joined by Abner the “Wonder Digging Groundbreaking Dog” at the event, and they joined others with gold-colored pooper scooper shovels to dig dirt at what will become the organization’s home.

“It was a fantastic christening for this project that is going to take about 12 months to complete and come to fruition,” Vondrell said. “We are 53 percent of the way in our fundraising campaign, so there are a lot of opportunities to still get involved financially.”

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The organization is working to open a 27,000 square-foot building on Washington Church Road north of Lyons Road and overlooking Interstate 675.

Trustees approved the plans for the new facility last year after the adoption center raised nearly 50 percent of the $5 million needed for the development.

Dale Berry, vice-president of the board of trustees, was on hand with other township officials at the groundbreaking and said SICSA will be a wonderful addition to the community.

“We are so very pleased to have SICSA locating in Washington Township,” he said.

The new facility will extend SICSA’s adoption capacity to 89 percent, the adult and youth humane education programs to 50 percent, increase prevention focused community spay neuter animal outcomes by 70 percent, and create the opportunity for the introduction of a Low Income Wellness program.

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SICSA is a no-kill facility. In 2016, the center had 1,654 adoptions and just more than 26,000 volunteer hours, according to its website.

Vondrell said, “This is the community’s animal shelter, and we are always looking for volunteers and people to get involved. You name it and there are opportunities for people getting involved.”

For more information on volunteer opportunities or how to make a donation visit

Vondrell said the agency’s current location, 2600 Wilmington Pike in Kettering, is expected to remain open for at least another year.

“We are still throwing around a lot of different ideas,” she said. “Certainly, we have to make sure the new space is ready for us, so the space we are in will be open for at least another year and there is still lots of discussions going on.”

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