Tracy Talks: Excitement for shelter ceremony
by Anne Marie Fuller
May 23, 2014 | 3232 views | 1 1 comments | 79 79 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A wave of excitement rushed over the gathered crowd Tuesday as the ceremonial shovels broke ground on the site where the new animal shelter will be built, at the corner of Grant Line and Paradise roads. Tracy’s animal-lover community came out in force to show support for the new facility. “This is an exciting day,” Ben Miller, head of Animal Services, said. “We appreciate the large turnout today and look forward to seeing everyone at our opening later this year.”

Those who volunteer at the shelter, including Kim Gray, are happy that the development may lead to fewer homeless pets to take care of.

“I am so thrilled that we are finally going to have an inviting animal shelter which will help increase adoptions,” Gray said.

“This is a good thing,” Councilman Robert Rickman said. “It’s long overdue.”

Boy, is that the truth — this new facility is way overdue. I have to admit it’s been difficult seeing all the prosperous growth in our town, except for a little out-of-the-way place known as the Tracy Animal Shelter. I have seen people drive up to the current facility, get out of the car and then turn around and get back in their car and leave. This is a common sight, kinda like “lookie-loos” at garage sales.

The behind-the-scenes talk has been “It will never happen.” Many of us in the animal community have been working on this project for well over a decade now, and it’s been difficult to keep our high hopes. Tuesday’s groundbreaking ceremony was the first tangible step to ensure that the new animal shelter was actually going to happen.

“It’s a miracle this is finally going to come to fruition,” said Zena Robbins, who gave a $10,000 donation Tuesday on behalf of her mother, Arleen Robbins, and herself. “The animals and the animal-loving community deserve this.”

In a nutshell, the new animal shelter will be done in two phases. The first phase, which will be completed later this year, will boast 5,638 square feet of facility space. It will also incorporate indoor and outdoor use, natural sunlight, two-sided cat cages, a get-acquainted area, 32 dog kennels and a 2,500-square-foot dog exercise yard.

I have never been prouder of my town than I was on Tuesday. For all those who helped behind the scenes and kept those high hopes, I guess the ant finally moved that rubber tree plant. I’ll be seeing you all later this year at the grand opening of our new animal shelter!

• Anne Marie Fuller, National Mrs. Beauties of the Nation and Mrs. California BOTN, is the host of “Helpful Hints with Anne Marie” on Channel 26. Contact her at

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May 26, 2014
It's about time this project broke ground. We have needed this new shelter for more years then I care to mention. Glad to see it finally go forward.

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