Cicero’s green spaces grew in September as town officials cut the ribbon on a new park and animal shelter at 18th and Laramie.
The Sept. 15 ceremony unveiled the new park, which includes a skateboard halfpipe, playground equipment, a sand volleyball court, a gazebo, health and exercise equipment, as well as plenty of rest areas for adults and children alike.
The new Cicero Campus Park will also house the new animal shelter, three dog parks and walking trails for families and their pets.
The new Waggin’ Tails Animal Shelter is located adjacent to the existing shelter, where it first opened in 2007 in response to a growing need for animal care.
“When Larry Dominick was elected president in 2005, one of his first acts was to expand the town’s Animal Control Department, which picked up and placed stray dogs and cats in a two-car garage,” said Town Planning Director Craig Pesek. “Within two years after President Dominick was elected, we expanded the new Animal Control Department to also include an animal shelter we called Waggin’ Tails. The purpose was to take in abandoned and unwanted animals, bring them back to full health and then make them available for adoption.”
Today, the Town operates a no-kill shelter and manages more than 100 dogs and cats at any one time and dozens of the animals are adopted each week
“What we have been able to do now is build a new building that is specifically made to care for and house the dogs and cats in an environment that encourages adoption,” President Dominick told the attendees at the ribbon cutting.
The new building is slightly larger than the existing animal shelter, about 6,500 square feet. It includes separate staging areas for new dogs and new cats that are brought into the shelter for the first time. New animals are placed in an observation room where any diseases or problems are addressed before they are put into the general population and placed for adoption.
The new shelter property will also offer a covered semi-outdoor play and exercise area for dogs that have not yet been adopted.
Pesek said Cicero Campus Park officially opened Sept. 15, but the new Waggin’ Tails building will be in full operation by Oct. 1 and open to the public on Oct. 1.