JANESVILLE, Wis. (WTVO) — The Humane Society of Southern Wisconsin says they’re in desperate need of a new facility after the HVAC system broke down.
Between cramped working conditions and an increase in stray animals, they are urgently seeking help to break ground on a new building.
The conditions inside the shelter are poor, as some employees have moved their offices into closet space, and donations of dog food are being collecting without anywhere to be stored. Veterinarians are working out of a truck to perform spay and neuter services.
A large fan serves as the shelter’s main air conditioning for the kenneled dogs.
“It’s like taking a beating,” said Mike McManus, Executive Director. “We have an HVAC unit up on our roof that literally no parts are made for anymore. It’s held together, really, with paper clips and Band Aids. And, it’s one of those difficult things that, in the winter, to provide heat or here in the summer, to get some cool to the animals.”
That’s the reality for the employees and volunteers at the shelter.
The cramped facility is halfway to it’s $4 million goal to move into a new building.
“Our new building will actually cost less to maintain than our current one, even though it will be larger,” McManus said.
Assistant Director of Operations James Hurley added, “The room [the strays] end up in is from 1976, and we’re doing probably 3 or 4 times the amount of work they did in 1976, in the same spot.”
Hurley has worked at the shelter for 23 years. He says the hardest part of the job is seeing the animals in stress when they arrive.
“You have to go through 4 doors to get to our intake area. That stresses out a dog or a cat. Going through a door, door shutting, door open. It gets them apprehensive and then it’s harder to work with them,” he said.
Hurley says the new building will give the shelter a chance to start over.
“Every consultant that came in to look at our building, to see if we can do something different, said ‘bulldoze it.’ There wasn’t a ‘hey, we can do this’ or ‘we can tweak this.’ It was literally, ‘bulldoze it and start over,'” he said.
The Humane Society plans to break ground this Fall on their new location, but are $1.7 million away from their funding goal.
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