WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP — Remy scampered across the floor Thursday morning after arriving for the first time at what will hopefully be a short stay at the new Porter County Animal Shelter.

The 4-year-old pitbull mix was followed in hot pursuit by fellow available dog, Sandy, who was just as curious and excited about the layout and roominess of their new quarters.

The pair were among the dogs and cats that are being moved to the new $3.5 million shelter from the now-closed, 35-year-old facility along Ind. 2.

The new shelter, located northwest of the Porter County Expo Center and accessed at the same traffic signal along Ind. 49 as the sheriff's department, is 14,000 square feet, as compared to 4,000 square feet at the old site. It has room for 120 dogs and 120 cats, as compared to 50 dogs and 80 cats previously.

The building features upgraded dog kennels and rooms for the cats to live in, as compared to small cages.

Shelter Director Toni Bianchi said the goal is to move all the animals to the new building by the end of the day Friday in preparation for the official public opening at noon Tuesday.

Various county officials and others gathered at the new building earlier this week for an official ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Officials lauded the cooperation that took place to make the project possible.

Also joining in the celebration was Jacki Stutzman, who donated $1 million toward the new shelter.

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Bob is a 22-year veteran of The Times. He covers county government and courts in Porter County, federal courts, police news and regional issues. He also created the Vegan in the Region blog, is an Indiana University grad and lifelong region resident.