a small house in the background

Faithful Friends breaks ground on 18,000-square-foot facility

Betsy PriceHeadlines

a small house in the background

Faithful Friends plans to move from its old shelter to its new in 2022.



Faithful Friends Animal Society used this week’s groundbreaking of its new 18,000-square-foot no-kill shelter to launch the community fundraising phase of its $10 million capital campaign.

The new shelter will be named the Sharon Struthers Animal Adoption and Community Resource Center after a long-time volunteer and donor.

It will be located on 27 acres of land near New Castle County Airport that was granted to the shelter by the state of Delaware. Expected to open in fall 2022, construction plans call for 15,743 square feet of purpose-built indoor spaces and 5,000 square feet of outdoor recreational space.

The shelter, now in an aging and cramped building at an industrial site, hasn’t had an outdoor rec space before.

The new building and outdoor space will allow dogs to live in spacious kennels and their own dog apartments while cats are able to live in indoor-outdoor spaces.

It also will give veterinary staff a modern medical suite with a surgery room, exam rooms, lab and pharmacy, as well as provide isolation rooms with separate air handling system for the sick.

Washers and dryers will be located in cat, dog and medical departments, and more friendly space will be available to those adopting to meet candidates.

Faithful Friends Animal Center handles sanctuary, shelter and veterinary services for 17,000 animals a year as well as services for 24,000 people, is now on Germay Drive. Its new site will be located at 65 Airport Road, behind the Colonial School Operations Building.

The shelter has raised $6.7 million of its capital campaign to build the new shelter.

Jane Pierantozzi, founder and executive director, told the crowd  at Tuesday’s groundbreaking that she was overwhelmed by their generosity and that of the community.

“This transformative step will allow us to embark on the next phase of our mission to expand our services and to become the voice for all animals,” she said. “We still have a way to go with fundraising and we hope more community members will participate in our campaign to help us complete the project.”

Faithful Friends chairman Bob Wasserbach said the additiona $3 million shelter hopes to raise will cover recent hikes in supply costs caused by the pandemic. To donate, go to BuildingCompassion.US

The agency recently received the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Alliance 2021 Superstars in Business award in the nonprofit category.

In the last year, it said, the shelter had:

  • Saved more than 1,500 cats and dogs
  • Placed nearly 1,400 cats and dogs in loving homes
  • Spayed and neutered over 2,500 cats and dogs
  • Served more than 4,000 cats and dogs through our low-cost community clinic
  • Counseled over 11,000 people through our vital pet lifeline resource hotline
  • Fed over 5,000 pets in response to pet owners’ needs via a free pet food bank
  • Cared for more than 575 cats and dogs on any given day
  • Provided long-term sanctuary care for over 350 cats and dogs

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