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Ground Breaking Ceremony

June 9, 2021 - BELLEVILLE, ONTARIO

The Humane Society of Hastings Prince Edward (HSHPE), formerly the Quinte Humane Society, broke ground today on the construction of its new animal shelter on Wallbridge-Loyalist Road in Belleville.

Belleville Mayor Mitch Panciuk and Quinte West Mayor Jim Harrison were on hand for the ceremony, which was televised on Facebook and on Cogeco’s YourTV. Both mayors reiterated their support for the building project.

“Today is a really really important day,” said Mayor Panciuk. He stressed the important financial support the City is providing HSHPE, including $400 thousand in cash over eight years, assistance with servicing at the new site, the waiving of permit and development charges and a $1 million loan to help start the construction process.

Mayor Panciuk also spoke about Councillor Pat Culhane, a long-time board member and supporter of the Humane Society, who passed away in 2020. “Pat Culhane was a fierce advocate for the Quinte Humane Society and she would be so pleased today,”

Mayor Harrison recognized the important role HSHPE plays in the treatment of animals in the region. “That’s where the Humane Society comes into play is to make sure that every animal is treated with respect and dignity and that’s what we are moving forward with today.” The City of Quinte West has provided the Humane Society Hastings Prince Edward $250 thousand and, like Belleville, offered a $1 million construction loan.

Phase 1 of the building project will see the construction of a new Animal Care and Adoption Centre and a Community Mobile Clinic which will service Hastings and Prince Edward Counties. The Centre is expected to be completed in the summer of 2022.

Donna Endicott, Chair of the Society’s Board of Directors thanked both mayors and their councils for their support. “It is not an overstatement to say that without Mayors Panciuk and Harrison, we would not be here today – it is their support, encouragement, sound advice, vision and leadership that is making it possible for the HSHPE to pursue a forever home for the animals, the staff and for all the communities of Hastings and Prince Edward Counties.”

Endicott called on the provincial and federal governments to lend their support to the building project and asked local residents to make their support for the HSHPE known to their representatives. 

“While we have been working with Todd Smith, our MPP and his staff on a funding proposal, we are still awaiting word of provincial or federal support. I ask that all of you who gather and watch today,  who support the work of the Humane Society Hastings Prince Edward to protect and care for animals in need, remind our federal and provincial representatives of the importance of this project,” said Endicott.

Hilary Murphy, President of TaskForce Engineering, the project’s design-builders, also spoke at the event.

“We are really honoured that the Humane Society team has the confidence in TaskForce to deliver on this project and we are looking forward to showing the community the depth of talent and expertise of our local trades and contractors. This is a community project that will engage community partners from start to finish,” said Murphy.

Greg Sudds, Chair of the building’s Capital Campaign Committee addressed the assembled crowd and online viewers, stating, “We have been very fortunate to assemble a Capital Campaign Committee of volunteers who, like me, are determined to turn the worst animal shelter building in the Province into a victory for the benefit of both ends of the leash.” 

To date, HSHPE’s It Takes Heart Campaign has raised $3.1 of $5 million needed for Phase 1 of the build. Donations can be made at ittakesheart.ca