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Michiana Humane Society in need of space heaters

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. --  Winter is fast approaching and the Humane Society of Southwestern Michigan in Benton Harbor said it desperately needs space heaters to help keep the shelter warm.

It's an old shelter built with lots of love, but like many old buildings, it doesn't keep the harsh winter temperatures out.

"The problem is that we are built like a maze. So, we have all these aisles that jut out and we're just not picking up enough heat for those rooms," said Executive Director Jill Svoboda.

One of the coldest areas in the shelter is its medical unit. It is where they keep kittens and cats that are suffering from an upper respiratory infection because they have to be isolate.

The only problem is that the room just doesn't get enough heat, which is making it hard to nurse the sick pets back to health.

"There immune systems are down," said Svoboda. "They need that extra heat, that extra warmth. They all have blankets, but it is that draft we are concerned about."

That is why the Svobada is asking people to donate space heaters before winter arrives. "It can be a new or used space heater. If you have one laying around your house that you are not using, we will be more than happy to take it off your hands."

The shelter relies solely on private donations and with the slow progress seen in this struggling economy, the Humane Society said donations are down. So much so that it is getting harder and harder to stay afloat.

"Anytime the economy gets like this people can give less and less and we understand that. But yes, it is getting more and more difficult to get to keep a little non-profit such as ourselves up and going."

The Humane Society of Southwestern Michigan is not affiliated with any other Humane Society, so they do not get the benefits of federal and state funding.

Donations can be made either in person or by visiting the website www.humanesocietyswm.org.

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