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Humane Society of the Ohio Valley raising money to revamp animal shelter

Published: Jul. 23, 2020 at 5:11 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va (WTAP) - The Humane Society of the Ohio Valley (HSOV) has launched a capital campaign in the hopes of either remodeling and/or adding onto their Washington County facility.

The facility, which is estimated to be about 40 years old, is becoming outdated and lacks the space needed to house the upwards of 1,000 animals that pass through it each year.

“It’s a cinder block building that is quite frankly outdated. Not efficient for operating. With limited space, we really can’t meet the needs of the Washington County community in terms of caring for homeless dogs and cats,” said Leight Murray, Vice President of the HSOV.

Murray says the shelter has seen a decrease in volume this year, but he contributes that to the coronavirus pandemic. Stuck at home with nothing to do, people adopted more and were able to continue caring for the animals they adopted more easily than in previous years.

With that said, the shelter has had a busy litter season and is currently housing over 100 cats. It has also had to stop taking animals in during the busy seasons of recent years because it has been at capacity.

The humane society is in the “preliminary” stages of their capital campaign and are expected to expand on their plans in the coming months. For now, officials are visiting other shelters to get a better idea of what a modern facility would look like. Murray would like to remodel the current facility to be used as office space and to shelter cats, while constructing a second building to house dogs.

The property the current facility is on is leased from the Washington County Commission. Murray says the HSOV will have to meet with commissioners to rework the current lease agreement as the project moves forward. He says they will likely need at least another half acre of land to complete the project. He hopes to discuss this with county commissioners next year.

In the next four to six weeks, Murray says the humane society will be holding public meetings where they hope to hear from anyone in the community with knowledge in construction, law, or building design.

Though these are very early estimates, Murray expects the project will cost somewhere between $800,000 and $1.2 million. He says it could be more if they have to relocate.

There is a fund set up at the Marietta Community Foundation called the “Humane Society of the Ohio Valley New Building and Renovation Fund'' specifically for the humane society’s remodeling/construction project. Murray is excited to have at least one donor who has promised to match up to $10,000 in donations.

“We have a likely second donor who is willing to do the same, to match the second $10,000,” said Murray.

Would-be donors can contact the Marietta Community Foundation to donate.

Keep up with us as this story develops. WTAP will be following along, online and on air.

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