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Wayne County Humane Society seeks help to “Raise the Woof”

by WayneTimes.com
January 27, 2024

The county’s lost, stray and surrendered animals are in need of new accommodations, and they’re looking to their two-legged friends for help.

The Humane Society of Wayne County has formed a Capital Campaign committee and is well on its way to raising funds for an updated, and code-compliant new larger shelter.

HSWC operations are currently incredibly limited by space and an outdated facility. A larger updated facility means better care for more animals.

Many are not aware that the Humane Society of Wayne County (HSWC) is not funded by state or local government., Nor does the HSWC receive any monies from national organizations such as  the Society for the Preventionof Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) or the Humane Society of the United States.  They are funded solely by contributions from generous donors, members, grants and corporate sponsors.

The current site of the building, which was opened in 1990 can no long sustain the good works of the HSWC. A new building is necessary to comply with NYS Animal Standards Shelter Law, that goes into effect in three years. There is a true necessity for a modern facility that will allow the HSWC to provide shelter and hope to the homeless dogs and cats of Wayne County.  HSWC’s mission is to provide a humane facility to shelter, feed and care for the lost, unwanted and abused animals of Wayne County and to provide a facility for humane education to citizens  of Wayne County. The shelter is a no-kill facility. 

The capital campaign for the new shelter is named “Raise the Woof”. The current facility is 1,840 square feet. The proposed new facility would increase dog and cat capacity. The proposed new facility will be 9,800 square feet with additional parking, private adoption rooms, and a separate admission and adoption lobby. The new shelter will have a covered outdoor area with pens and an open area for exercise. It is also being planned with future expansion in mind.

“We take tremendous pride in our reputation as a socially conscious animal shelter that does not euthanize animals for space.  We must continue to lead by example with a new and updated facility to serve as the hub for Wayne County’s lost, stray, and abused animals. This is an exciting time for HSWC and our team is proud of this worthy effort,” said Mark Plyter, Executive Director of HSWC.

The current shelter, located at 1475 County House Road, was retrofitted from an existing residential ranch type dwelling in 1990. While much effort has been put forth into making the shelter as functional as possible, the structure was not originally designed for sheltering animals. For this reason, operating out of the current facility poses an array of challenges, which can negatively impact animal care and health, efficiency, safety, service delivery to the public and overall public image. This does not mean animals are not being adequately cared for, but rather the facility is being outpaced in terms of modern animal sheltering standards, increasing demands of  Wayne County residents and evolving regulatory requirements, including the new NYS Shelter Standards Law of which we will have to comply.

 They must allow for adequate noise abatement or sufficient containment of airborne illnesses. An undersized and outdated surgery area limits the types and number of procedures that can be performed. The lack of separation between intake and adoption services, inadequate visiting rooms and a non-existent training room also negatively impacts service delivery to citizens.   HSWC currently has no classroom or training space. 

HSWC not only faces challenges of space but also deteriorating building conditions. There is no sprinkler system or air handling system - no air exchange or air conditioning. HSWC relies on multiple window a/c units to keep animals and staff comfortable during warm months. Floors are cracking  and  ceilings are stained from previous roof leaks. Outside dog kennels are rusty and require daily maintenance. HSWC also lacks appropriate quarantine, intake, and meet and greet areas.

In keeping with the new NYS Shelter Standards requirements, the new shelter will have to comply with the following, among many other requirements: ambient temperatures in all indoor animal housing areas  maintained between 60-80º fahrenheit. Ammonia levels shall be kept at less than two parts per million. Each animal shelter shall provide separate housing areas, segregated by species and from uninfected, unexposed animals, for the housing of any animal with an infectious disease that may be transmitted within the shelter environment and requiring isolation as determined by a licensed veterinarian. Each animal shelter shall minimize continuous exposure of personnel and animals to sound levels exceeding 85 decibels.  Each animal shelter shall provide animal housing areas that provide adequate lighting and a means to maintain diurnal light cycles pursuant to an established schedule. There are many more regulations that are required, this is just a sample.

Updates on the Campaign

and what YOU can do to help

While the Capital Campaign committee is busy recruiting sponsors and naming rights for certain areas, there are also many affordable ways that residents, local businesses and organization can help.

To date $598,300 has been raised,  with a $500,000 grant from NY State secured, and pledges of about $41,000 the funds are being slowly secured. The  projection for the completed project is $2.5 million.

Community members and small business might consider some of the dedicated items yet to be purchased....

There is a need for 36 cat condos (8 have been pledged already). Cost for a cat condo is $500.00 each. There are needs for Memorial benches at $2,000, Donor Wall plaques are $500 each, Leave a Legacy pavers are $250 each. 

For those organizations or major philanthropists, there are still naming rights for the Cat Wing (6 rooms) $250,000, Dog Wing $250,000, Surgical and Recovery are 150,000 and the Administrative Offices $150,000.

If you wish to help, you can call the HSWC at 315-946-3389, or visit the donation page at waynehumane.org/raise-the-woof/

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