ST. CLOUD -- The Tri-County Humane Society is getting their new forever home.

The non-profit organization broke ground on their new shelter Thursday afternoon. Executive Director Vicki Davis says this is a dream come true.

I'm so excited, it just snuck up on me even though we've been planning for ten years, but it's just real now.

The new shelter will be double the size of the current building and include larger and more comfortable kennels for cats and dogs, training rooms, and separate acquaintance spaces for families to interact with the animals.

Davis says plans also call for an on-site surgical center, which currently is adjacent to the shelter.

Our surgery unit, which is currently off-site, will now be on-site so that's exciting for our surgical team. And there is just going to be a lot more room for us to spread out.

Once the new shelter is built, the current shelter will be torn down to make way for a larger parking lot and dog play area.

Davis says they are roughly $1-million away from their $3.5-million goal, which they will continue to fundraise for this winter.

If all goes well they hope to open their new shelter next summer. The Tri-County Humane Society has been in their current location since 1989.

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Dog helps break ground on new TCHS Shelter (Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)