It was the day we had been dreaming about for years. After 17 years in a building that had been designed as an automobile shop for Beatrice High School, the Beatrice Humane Society held the Grand Opening of its new animal shelter.
Located at 534 S. Reed St. (on Highway 136 across from the college), the building is in full operation and continuing to serve the lost and homeless animals in Gage County.
Ten days ago, the Ambassadors from the Beatrice Area Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the lobby of the new shelter. Others in attendance included major donors, city and county officials, and good friends and supporters of the Beatrice Humane Society.
Also in attendance was Michael Weaver, a native Beatrician who grew up here, graduated from Beatrice High School and then attended the Kansas City Art Institute. Today Mike is a well-respected professional artist who lives in Kansas City.
The Humane Society commissioned Mike to do “a special, unique and heartfelt” rendition of the shelter that would be given as a gift to the three major donors who made the dream of a new shelter a reality by making the initial gifts. Those dream-makers are the late Velma and Ruby Marsh, the Weston family, and the Scully family.
The painting is a stylized picture of the entrance of the new building with a group of happy dogs and cats looking intently at the viewer with the words “We’re Thankful” 2017 across the canvas. Mike perused the Humane Society website and photos of adoptable animals and painted many of them into his artwork.
His animal portraits are so realistic that shelter staff could go down the line and actually name the animals. Thank you, Mike! And thank you to everyone who has had any part in making our shelter dream come true.
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Those of us associated with the Beatrice Animal Shelter are always interested in what lies ahead for the dogs and cats that are adopted from our facility. We know that most of them will stay in the Beatrice/Gage County area, but it’s not uncommon to have adopters come from Lincoln, Omaha, and other surrounding areas.
Animals have even gone to Colorado and Minnesota and Texas and even as far away as Connecticut. And this week another lucky dog is Connecticut bound.
Vicki Cain grew up in Beatrice while her father, Ken Cain, worked at Beatrice National Bank. The family moved to Minnesota, and then Vicki lived here and there and eventually ended up in Derby, Connecticut. Today she has a two-hour commute one way to New York City to her job in the Development Office of the American Ballet Theatre.
She has also written a book, “Travels with Judy” -a take-off on John Steinbeck’s “Travels with Charley” about the author’s adventures traveling around the country with his Standard Poodle. In her book, Vicki traveled with her canine companion “Judy," and the two traversed the United States taking in the sights. The book is available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Recently Vicki planned some Memorial Day vacation time in Beatrice to visit her mother, Patricia, who lives with a beautiful cat she adopted from our former shelter on Ella Street. Vicki drove the 1500 miles with her 15-year-old canine companion, “Maddie," who was adopted from a Connecticut “dog pound."
Vicki was hoping to have a chance to visit the new Beatrice Animal Shelter and check out the adoptable dogs. In April, she lost her dear “Topper," an Australian Shepherd she rescued, and she was thinking the time might be right to add an additional member to the family.
As she strolled by the kennels of adoptable dogs, Vicki noticed a pretty blonde and white female Border Collie/Husky mix named “Bianca”. Bianca is two years old, very well-mannered, and a real sweetheart. It was the perfect match.
Bianca is now known as ‘Buttercup," and so far, she is adjusting well to her new name and her new family. And if Vicki’s dream comes true, they will be moving back to the Midwest when the time is right. No two-hour commutes here! Safe travels back to Connecticut and best wishes to Buttercup and Vicki for making a match for a lifetime!