Humane Society building campaign needs a final boost

Published 4:34 pm Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Rotarians heard this week about the critical need for a new building to house the Bainbridge-Decatur County Humane Society. Speaking was Jason Williams, a busy deputy with the Decatur County Sheriff’s Department, the county animal control officer, Champs instructor and a board member of the Humane Society.

He began by giving information on the present Society’s budget of $250,000 per year. The amount that comes from the city and the county combined is 51 percent of the operating expenses.

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The remaining 49 percent comes from fundraisers and private donations. He also spoke of the expenses incurred, especially for utilities, which equate to 9 percent of the budget, or $15,000 annually for power. An additional 3.5 percent goes to repairs of the buildings that are old and difficult to maintain.

The Society takes in an average of 2000 animals per year, with 78 percent of those coming in from Animal Control.

To illustrate his talk, Williams showed slides of the conditions of the buildings. One is sliding off its foundation, while others have issues with falling ceiling tiles, and probably the biggest problem is the back up from the sewage treatment plant located directly behind the shelter. “When sewage backs up at the treatment plant, the first place it comes is the Humane Society,” explained Williams, who showed slides of the workers sloshing through unsanitary wastewater.

There are also a lot of problems from the ammonia and cleaning chemicals that damage the sheet rock and cause corrosion. The ventilation system is a real challenge, as they have to keep the animals cool in a metal building in the summer heat.

There is also concern about people dropping off dogs after hours. Some of them may be dangerous, all are hungry and thirsty, and they tend to roam near the ball fields across the street from the shelter, where children are playing.

A building fund to replace the buildings has been underway for a couple of years and there are plans to build on 5 acres of land donated to the shelter. The location is on Zorn road behind the 7-11 store. Through the help of donations, fundraisers and The Fogg Family Charitable Trust the dream of a new, more functional and pubic friendly animal shelter is closer to becoming a reality.

The goal is to start breaking ground by the year 2019. An additional $450,000 is needed to go forward with the project.

There are several ways a person can donate.

All donations are deposited to the building fund account, and as a non-profit 501C(3) organization, all donations are tax deductible. The public is invited to visit the current shelter to see the need for a new facility.

For more information contact the shelter at 1250 Cox Avenue, or call (299) 246-0101.