Humane Society hopeful for future plans

The Humane Society of Elkhart County hopes the new year will be the year they see their big plans come to life.

They are in the last stages of their Capital Campaign to raise funds for their new building, which they hope to break ground on in the spring.

Already in 2016, the organization has adopted out more than 20 animals and last year they saw thousands of animals come through their doors.

“Last year we saw 4,700 animals come through our doors," said Janet Graham, Executive Assistant for the Humane Society of Elkhart County.

The current building has been in place for well over 50 years and studies show that it is not up to necessary building codes and is not accommodating for some of the animals major needs.

Graham said it is time for an upgrade. “Our building here served its purpose when it was first put into use but we’ve outgrown it.”

The new building will offer several changes in the design. “Cats are up here, dogs are down here. You’re not going to hear the barking all the time like the poor cats hear now,” Graham said as she pointed to the floor plans.

Graham said that dogs will have redesigned living quarters and walls built so the dogs cannot see each other to cut down on the constant barking. She said that each dog will also have their own running space outside.

“We need better filtration to keep the animals healthy,” Graham said.

Currently the shelter has an individual animal capacity of 200 for adoptable and stray animals. Dogs and cats are located very near each other and causes chaos between the two different types of animals.

The new building will be able to increase capacity by more than 50% and allow for segregated living quarters for small adoptable animals. There will also be maternity areas for dogs and cats.

It is a more than five million dollar project. Already, they have met 63% of their overall goal and 73% of their construction goal. Part of this will include $700,000 needed for soft goods to buy things like kennels.

There will be a veterinarian and surgical center so all dogs and cats can be spayed or neutered prior to being adopted.

An upgraded facility will also help keep the staff members healthy too.

“This is our employee break room and it also doubles as our laundry facility. This is where the staff eats their lunch. Next to the dirty laundry,” said Graham as she pointed to the break room.

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