The Shenango Valley Animal Shelter is getting a new building. The shelter and the city of Hermitage received a $425,000 grant from the state of Pennsylvania through the Commonwealth Financing Authority’s Local Share Account Program for a new facility. 
The new space will be moved to Lynnwood Drive and will be nearly three times the size as the current shelter on Broadway Avenue. 
The building on Broadway Avenue was built in the early 1970s as an animal control facility according the shelter's chairman, Duane Piccirilli. In the past the shelter euthanized animals for space until the board formed a non-profit and deemed it a no-kill shelter.
"At this point no animals are euthanized for space and so we're desperately in need of new space," Piccirilli said. 
The shelter works as animal control, capturing lost animals in the county and also provides a space where people can drop off animals they can no longer take care of. The shelter then tries to find them a new home. 
"The pandemic has had a major effect on us because people would get dogs when they were home and then they went back to work, ]and] they either couldn't care for their dogs or their dog started having anxiety because they were home alone for the first time and then they surrender them," Piccirilli said. 
The shelter is also dealing with a employee shortage. 
"All the shelters in the Shenango Valley are struggling because no one can find help, so the smaller shelters are struggling," Piccirilli said. "We're one of the larger shelters so sometimes things fall on us." 
The new shelter will be designed for longer term care for animals and will include outdoor space for a dog park and parking, as well as a trail around the facility that will be open to the public.
The board members will hold a meeting at the end of March to discuss the design of the new building. Piccirilli said they are trying to keep the cost as low as they can around $1,000,0000. Along with the grant from the state program, the shelter has raised nearly $300,000 from community donations.
"It might be a much smaller building. We'll see what we can do but we desperately need to get out of our current situation," he said. 
The board members hope to break ground on the new building in the early summer and have the building completed by 2024.