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Updates On Our New Shelter
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We Are Going To Have A New Home!

As you probably are aware, the Porter County Animal Shelter is going to have a brand new home!  Construction will begin in August of 2016, with plans of moving into the new facility early in 2017.  You can follow our progress on this page where we will post news articles, photos and updates as they occur!


Officials With Shovels Break Ground For New Animal Shelter

September 9, 2016


Groundbreaking Signals Official Start Of Construction For New Porter County Animal Shelter.

At a groundbreaking ceremony today, members of the Porter County Board of Commissioners and County Council, along with Shelter Director Toni Bianchi, donor Jacki Stutzman, and representatives of DLZ Indiana and Larson Danielson Construction Company signaled the official start of construction for the new Porter County Animal Shelter.

The new 14,000 square foot facility is located on State Road 49, just north of the Porter County Expo Center, and replaces the aging and outdated 4,000 square foot shelter that was built in the early 1980’s on State Road 2 and Heavilin Road.

“Shelter Director Toni Bianchi and our dedicated shelter staff have worked miracles tending for our homeless animals while their hands were tied by the condition and limitations of the old shelter,” said Commissioner Laura Blaney.  “I can’t wait to see the amazing things that they will accomplish when their skills and dedication are unleashed in a new, modern facility.”

The new facility is designed to not only accommodate more animals, but to help control operating costs and increase successful adoptions.  The maximum capacity for dogs increases to 120 from 50 at the old shelter, and for cats to 120 from 80.  It will include a spay/neuter clinic, two examination rooms and a grooming area.  These enhancements will assist in making the animals healthier, more adoptable and assure that all animals are altered before they leave the shelter which will, over the long term, help reduce animal overpopulation and future intakes at the shelter.

In addition, modern air circulation and indoor drainage systems, along with the building materials used in the dog and cat areas, will vastly improve the sanitary conditions and reduce health risks to the animals and public. Three ‘meet and greet’ rooms for potential adopters provide a welcoming environment for the public to bond with the animals before adoption, furthering the shelter’s goal of successful, long term placements.  An educational conference room offers the opportunity for community educational programs about responsible pet ownership, with the goal of reducing animal surrenders or abandonment.  The conference room will also furnish a much needed space for the shelter’s volunteer orientation program to expand public involvement in caring for and socializing the shelter’s animal population.

“The day that this new shelter opens will mark a turning point for our animals, staff and the public in Porter County,” said Shelter Director Toni Bianchi.  “We will be able to move from a shelter that just houses homeless animals to a comprehensive and multi-faceted approach in addressing a long term solution to the problems of animal homelessness and overpopulation.”

It is anticipated, weather permitting, that construction of the new shelter will be complete by June 1 of 2017.  Constructions costs for the shelter have been budgeted at $3.25 million.  The County Commissioners and Council have unanimously approved a $2.25 million appropriation from the proceeds of the sale of the hospital.  The remaining $1 million has been donated by Porter County resident Jacki Stutzman.  Stutzman first became aware of the limitations and challenges of the current shelter building while cleaning cages as a volunteer over 4 years ago.

“It has been a long four year journey,” said Stutzman.  “Today marks the beginning of a new chapter for the Porter County Animal Shelter and the animals they care for.  I am counting the days until the grand opening in 2017.”


August 11, 2016

The new Porter County Animal Shelter receives preliminary approval for variances from the Porter County Development Review Committee.  CLICK HERE to read more!


Artist Rendering of New Porter County Animal Shelter

August 8, 2016

Here is the first rendering of the new Porter County Animal Shelter.  The official groundbreaking for the new shelter will be on Friday, August 19 at 10:00 AM.  The public is invited and welcome.  The new shelter location is on State Road 49, just north of the Porter County Expo Center and Fairgrounds. The easiest and safest way to reach the location is thru the entrance to the Expo Center on Division Road, then just straight back to the northwest corner.


June 29, 2016

A HUGE STEP FORWARD to a NEW Porter County Animal Shelter! The Porter County Council approved $2.25 million Tuesday night for a new animal shelter. The money, in addition to a $1 million donation from Valparaiso resident Jacki Stutzman, will be used to replace the county's undersized and aging shelter with a new facility along Ind. 49 near the Porter County Expo Center.  CLICK HERE to read more.


June 15, 2016

Pending approval from the Porter County Council, funds for the new animal shelter will come out of the proceeds from the sale of the county hospital. The Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved spending $2.25 million out of the funds for the shelter, which is being designed and built by Larson-Danielson Construction of LaPorte.  CLICK HERE to read more.


May 25, 2016

The Porter County Council is satisfied with the location of the new county animal shelter and is considering the growth of the county.  The county will need to come up with about $2.25 million for the project. The facility is about $2.75 million and the county has received a $1 million donation from Jacki Stutzman of Valparaiso toward that cost, but the final figure includes soft costs, such as sewer and water service and extending a frontage road along Ind. 49 to serve the facility.  County officials deem the new shelter a priority, and discussion of how to fund it will come at the council's next meeting, when council members will have a better handle on operating costs.  CLICK HERE to read more!


Picture of One Million Dollar Check Presentation

May 21, 2016

At last night's Commissioners Ball, our progress towards building a new animal shelter took a massive leap forward when Jacki Stutzman presented a check for ONE MILLION DOLLARS to Shelter Director Toni Bianchi and the Porter County Board of Commissioners to support the new construction. 

Jacki became aware of the challenges of our current shelter a few years back when she was a volunteer at the shelter cleaning cages, doing laundry and walking our dogs. We will be forever grateful to Jacki for her support as a past volunteer and for her incredible financial support.

Jacki has an incredible commitment to bettering the quality of life in Porter County, for our people AND ANIMALS. She is a board member of the Porter County Community Foundation, Valpo Parks Foundation and Lakeshore Paws, president of the Memorial Opera House Foundation, past member of the Valpo Y Board, and involved in many other local community organizations.


May 10, 2016

Three bids were opened during today's Board of Commissioners meeting with the prices coming in between $2.7 million and $3.1 million. The next step will be for a committee to review the bids with the scores of three teams competing for the project; commissioners will announce the winning firm at their meeting on May 17th.  A groundbreaking for the new shelter could take place next month, with the facility complete by early next year.  CLICK HERE to read more!


Demolition Photo

May 9, 2016

FANTASTIC NEWS!  Out with the old to make room for the NEW SHELTER!  Demolition began today to clear the site on Hwy 49 just north of the Expo Center where the NEW Porter County Animal Shelter will be built.  And, TOMORROW the Board of Commissioners will open bids for the new construction!



March 3, 2016
“The new Porter County Animal Shelter will be between 10,000 and 12,000 square feet with room to grow, with a construction budget of $1.6 million to $2 million and a timeline that would see the shelter completed by early next year.”  CLICK HERE to read more!


January 19, 2016
“The technical service committee will put together what it wants to see in a new shelter for a request for proposals and that will go out Feb. 17, he said. The companies' proposals will be due April 7, with estimated costs. He expects a tentative groundbreaking in May.”  CLICK HERE To Read More!


new shelter sign




January 4, 2016
Excitement is building!  Over New Year’s weekend, the sign announcing the location of the NEW Porter County Animal Shelter went up!  Look for it on the east side of Highway 49, directly north of the Expo Center and Fairgrounds.


December 15, 2015:
“Construction on a new county animal shelter could begin in the spring, and the Board of Commissioners have asked the county's highway department to tear down the old house on the property.”  CLICK HERE to read more!


October 27,2015:
“The Porter County Board of Commissioners took an important step Tuesday in getting a new animal shelter built.  Commissioners kicked off the start of the design-build process for a new shelter, to be located on Indiana 49 just south of the Porter County Sheriff's Department, and construction could begin in the spring.”  CLICK HERE to read more!


December 3, 2014:
"The Porter County Commissioners have found a new site to relocate the County Animal Shelter.”  CLICK HERE to read more!