The Humane Educational Society is finally getting a new building after years of struggling to provide for the animals in a 119-year-old building. Ashleigh Horner, the volunteer coordinator, said that she was very excited about the new building but most importantly for the animals. “The animals deserve this building and they have for a while so I’m glad we can finally give it to them,” said Horner. There was a groundbreaking ceremony on November 14, 2019 in which they stated that the new building will hopefully be opened in the Fall of 2020.
The current conditions for which the animals are living hasn’t been suitable for years. The kennels are very small so they don’t have any real room to play or be comfortable. Their bathrooms are in their kennels which are cleaned out as often as possible. Volunteer Elizabeth Herz has spearheaded the project to provide all of the dogs with blankets, chewy toys and bones in an attempt to improve their stay but the building creates a lot of problems. Herz says that when it rains all of the kennels flood and the dogs are just standing in water despite the drainage system installed. Herz is hopeful that the new building will lead to more adoptions, more donations and more volunteers. Herz volunteers at the animal shelter three times a week for about four hours each shift. “Volunteers is what makes this place run. Without us, these puppies wouldn’t be able to get the love or exercise they so desperately need,” explains Herz.
The new building is expected to cost $13 million dollars with $10 million coming from the county and the rest from private donors. The $10 million was approved in April in a County Commissioners meeting but only after some protest. Commissioner Tim Boyd questioned the $350 per-square-foot price tag saying that it would cost more than building a school. Architect Bob Franklin defended the cost and said that because their [the dogs] kennels also double as their bathroom it needs to be sanitary and state of the art to get rid of the waste. The new building site is also going to have a veterinary office with the capability of spay and neuter operations as well as separate entrances for those adopting and those surrendering an animal. Their press release also stated that they are going to have an educational center for children to teach them about animals, adoption and volunteering.
Dr. Phil Snyder was named the new executive director of the Humane Society and he has been working with animal facilities around the country since 2007. He is eager to be apart of the ground breaking and the new facility and thinks he can do well for the Humane Educational Society. Dr. Tai Frederico the interim executive director that Dr. Snyder replaced, says that he is confident that given his experience, he will do great things. The ground breaking ceremony not only explained some of the details about the building but also revealed that the shelter will be getting a new name. It will be called Foy Animal Shelter after John and Trish Foy who have contributed work, time and donations to the project and were honored at the ceremony.