ACCIDENT, MD, May 02, 2014 -- Contact:
Kathy Beisner, (302) 943-3818
USDA Program Helps Open The HART Animal Center
Accident, Md., May 2, 2014 – Today, USDA officials were on hand to celebrate the grand opening of The HART Animal Center located between McHenry and Accident at 1265 Bumble Bee Road. The Center officially opened its doors in February 2014 and waited for spring to arrive to hold the ceremonial ribbon cutting and private tour for everyone involved who supported the project.
“When people think about USDA they think about a Department that helps protect our food supply and the farmers that grow it,” said Dr. Bill McGowan, USDA Rural Development State Director. “What many do not know is that USDA is much more than that. USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack likes to say We are an Every-day, Every-way Department. HART for Animals, Inc. works every day to save the lives of homeless pets in Western Maryland and are a mainstay for providing an essential service to help reduce pet overpopulation through low-cost spaying and neutering and help to prevent the spread of disease by vaccinating all puppies and kittens that are received at the Center.”
The Animal Center was made possible with the support of the county which donated 6.85 acres and the USDA Rural Development Community Facility Program. Altogether, USDA provided $1,728,725 in low-interest loan and grant funds that helped with the construction of the 12,000 square foot facility that will house several offices, a veterinary clinic and boarding and grooming areas, and an adoption wing that will hold 100 homeless animals.
There is an extensive network of supporters and community involvement that ranges from the 125 volunteers to the HART staff to the County Government. Through fundraising efforts and donations, HART for Animals was able to contribute $261,738 to the project.
“Although we raised $700,000 for the construction of the HART Center, that amount was used for design, engineering, site improvement and foundation work,” said Michael Pellet, President of HART. “We could not have built our Center without the financial support of the USDA. We are deeply grateful to the USDA and Rural Development staff because ‘without them’ we would not have been able to create this asset for our community.”
The new facility has allowed the HART Animal Center to expand its full time staff of three to 22 jobs when it opened in February, and is expecting to support 50 jobs when it reaches full operation sometime in the fall of 2014
Last year, USDA Rural Development returned $617 million to rural Maryland. They have more than 40 loan, grant, and technical assistance programs. The 2014 Farm Bill brings renewed support for community economic development, including financing for investments in broadband, telecommunications, distance learning and telemedicine, entrepreneurship, and business development and growth.
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.