HSHC Executive Director Rebecca Stevens said the effort to build a new shelter began in 2014.
"Six years ago, we said it out loud," she said. "And we had no clue how we'd get it done. For me, it was something I was dreaming about long before that. For about 10 years, it's been a personal dream of mine and something I've been working toward, so this is really very surreal for me and very emotional, and I am grateful."
Stevens thanked a group of city and county officials, as well as several donors such as Steven Cage. Cage donated $4 million to the effort, and the building will be named after him and his foundation. His black cat Stanley, whom he adopted from the Humane Society for Hamilton County, will decorate the building.
Mayor Scott Fadness spoke at the ceremony as well.
"We want to welcome you to our city, we couldn't be more thrilled to have not only such a tremendous facility but such an inspiring vision and the professional staff that you have, we can't wait to not only have it built but then to collaborate," Fadness said. "The Humane Society along with the compassionate professionals that are there, the countless volunteers you have, we want you engaged and energized and integrated into our city in innovative ways that could be a model for the whole country."
Construction is estimated to be complete in spring 2021.