Tullahoma’s new, state-of-the-art animal shelter is now officially operational.
The new shelter was officially dedicated with a Monday afternoon chamber of commerce ribbon cutting, with dozens of animal lovers from the area coming to see inside the new facility.
The recently completed new animal shelter is a 2,700-square-foot building with 36 separate dog kennels. Construction on the new shelter began last year.
According to Mayor Lane Curlee, about 25% of the shelter’s funding came from private donations raised over two years.
“The citizens of Tullahoma have stepped up in a tremendous way,” Curlee said. “The total amount of privately-raised funds is $133,571.”
Curlee added that the result of those donations, along with city funds, is “a facility that our community can be very proud of.”
According to Animal Control Supervisor Jeff Wilson, the new shelter has an office inside, so he and his team don’t have to be separated whenever any animal emergencies arise.
There is also a space inside the lobby for a video monitor that will display all the up-to-date information on the adoptable dogs in the shelter.
Inside the facility, each kennel has space for a raised bed so the dogs don’t have to sleep on the concrete floor. Large food and water bowls are available for each dog, and dogs have access to an outdoor run so they can stretch their legs each day.
In addition to dedicating the shelter for the city, Curlee announced at the ribbon cutting that the shelter would officially bear the name “Limbaugh” in honor of the city’s former public works director Wayne Limbaugh.
According to Public Works Director Butch Taylor, the idea to name the shelter for his former boss came from Curlee as a way to thank him for his many years of assistance with the city’s stray dogs.
“We thought it was fitting,” Taylor said.
Curlee agreed, saying Limbaugh had “done so much work and such a good job” with the animal shelter in years past that it made sense to name it after him.
“He’s been the leader,” Curlee said. “He took the animal shelter to a new level. He was involved in every step of it.”
The Tullahoma Board of Mayor and Aldermen unanimously approved the resolution to name the shelter the Limbaugh Animal Shelter at its Monday night meeting.
‘A long road’
When asked how he felt about the new shelter finally being completed, Limbaugh said it was great to see all the work put into it.
“It’s been a long road,” he said. “When we took it over about 18 years ago or so, there was no adoption program, no medical program, no [micro]chipping program, no working with organizations and rescue groups, and to be where we are today, we’re real happy.”
Limbaugh credited Taylor for a large portion of the work it took to get everything completed – “He’s the one who had to deal with the contractors,” Limbaugh joked – but said he was happy to see things finished.
“I’m happy about it, and I’m sure Butch is, too,” he said.
Taylor agreed, saying the facility was “state-of-the-art” and a “great” asset to the community.
“We’re just glad to have it and fortunate to get it,” he said.
Taylor said having a quarter of the funds raised privately by citizens proves that the community itself wants good things for the animals in the city.
“They definitely care about the animals, and it made a big difference on us getting to where we are today,” he said.
For more information on the shelter or to adopt a dog, call 454-9580 or visit www.facebook.com/tullahomaanimalshelter.
Erin McCullough may be reached at email@example.com.