Humane society readies for expansion
YATES COUNTY--The Humane Society of Yates County is putting the finishing touches on fundraising $750,000 for a 4,000 square foot expansion to their facility. The building project will allow for more animals to be served at the location, but will also help to ease their transition into new homes. With construction slated to begin in April, Humane Society staff are working hard to make sure they reach their funding goal before work begins.
"This is going to make a huge difference for the dogs, they will all have individual rooms with a door leading to a run outside," said Bonnie Brewer, executive director of the Humane Society of Yates County. "Inside they will have a heated floor and AC, more in a room that is home oriented to lessen behavior issues when transitioning to homes. People come from all over because when you take an animal from our shelter [to your] home you know what you are getting."
While the new space will be dedicated solely to dogs, the existing dog space will be retrofitted to house more cats at an even higher level of comfort than is currently offered.
"Everyone is going to be in separate buildings, so we don't have to take the risk with dogs stressing out the cats with barking," Brewer said. "It will be much more peaceful for the animals as they are stressed out when they get here. It will also make cleaning and adoption easier. We are beyond excited."
The bulk of the $750,000 needed for the project comes from a grant, from the state, specifically designed to go to shelters.
"We got the full $500,000 that we asked for, I think we were one of two shelters in the entire state who got the full amount," Brewer added.
The rest of the money is being privately funded through donations, with some totaling as much as $20,000. Despite the success of receiving the grant from the state and privately raising funding for the project, Brewer mentioned how tight funds can be at any given time.
Originally the plan was for construction to already be finished but COVID created issues forcing a delay.
"We were hoping we could start building in the fall but we delayed with the price of building materials so high. We were hoping they would go down, but they didn't," Brewer stated.
While the expansion will improve the care provided for dogs and cats in Yates County, Brewer said the project has value for everyone and not just animal lovers.
"Even for people who don't have pets, everyone cares about our community and reputation," Brewer said. "It's the Finger Lakes, we have people coming from around the world for tourism and do you want to be the one place in the Finger Lakes known for its stray animal population?"
To see updates from the humane society visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/humanesocietyofyatescounty.