Finding forever homes
There’s good news and some bad news for the 160 homeless animals waiting to be adopted from the Center for Animal Health and Welfare on Island Park Road in Williams Township.
The good news is the animals are living in a no-kill facility where finding forever homes for them is the goal, and while waiting for that to happen, their human hosts do the utmost to keep them well and happy.
The bad news, according to CAHW Executive Director Kelly Bauer, is the shelter may have to cut back on services and the number of animals it can accept unless it can raise $10,000 to complete repairs to its HVAC system, which crashed this past winter.
The initial estimate to repair the system was $50,000. The center was able to raise $15,000 at one of its fundraisers and Williams Township resident Mike Farrell, of Mike’s Heating and Air Conditioning, played Santa Claus by donating all the installation costs.
“He easily donated $100,000 worth of service to us,” Bauer says.
Five River Development also donated the engineering and platform construction labor, but that still leaves equipment costs of $10,000, Bauer says.
Although the heating and cooling units have been installed, the center’s most recent newsletter explains, “We have made it through the summer with the help of community partners who donated air conditioning. With winter around the corner, we need to finally complete this project.”
If the needed funds are not raised, Bauer says the money will have to come out of the animals’ medical care fund, which means the animal population will have to be decreased.
According to the center’s donation page online, last year $27,000 was spent on medications for the feline and canine residents and $16,560 worth of diagnostic medical testing was required.
Reducing the animal population would affect the center’s networking with open admission shelters who refer animals that may have to be euthanized as a way to manage population. Bauer says she gets 30-40 requests a day from these shelters.
“I read them all and look at the pictures,” she said. “I try to help.”
That help comes with a price tag, though. For every animal it houses, it costs the center $21 a day. That is times 120 cats and about 40 dogs at any given time.
Established in 1913, the center committed to becoming a no-kill facility in 2013. It is a privately-run organization, not a government agency. It raises its operating costs from fundraisers, bequests, donations, adoption fees, grants and fees from municipalities who need help with their stray animals.
“We have so many people who are so generous to us,” Bauer said. “We wouldn’t be where we are without them.”
For those who would like to contribute to the $10,000 HVAC fund, go to the center’s website at www.healthyanimalcenter.org/donate.