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Humane Society moving this weekend
After years of anticipation, the new Humane Society of Yuma shelter will be open to the public beginning Tuesday.
“It's incredible; it's been six years in the making,” said HSOY development director Cookie Wagter. “Everybody is just ecstatic because it's just going to be so much healthier for the animals.”
HSOY will hold a private ribbon cutting Monday. Guided tours of the new facility, located at 4050 Avenue 4-1/2E between 4E and 5E on 40th Street, will be held Thursdays at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Those interested can sign up in the front lobby.
The old shelter, 285 N. Figueroa Ave., will officially close its doors on Saturday and will be open only to those looking to reclaim a pet. Animals up for adoption will be transported to PetSmart and to the new shelter Saturday, while strays and bite animals will later be transported to the new facility on Sunday and Monday.
Wagter said that although about $80,000 was raised during the annual Fur Ball, they are still looking to raise $1 million from the community. She said they were able to open the shelter thanks to a loan they secured for the remaining portion of the funds.
“People of Yuma really need to take pride in the fact that they helped build that building,” she said. “This building is being built by donor dollars, it's not taxpayer money.”
To help collect the remainder of the funds, Wagter said they are hoping people from the community will help them through their Adopt-a-Tree campaign by purchasing trees ranging in price from $25 to $150. Not only will this help them raise funds but it will also add greenery to their currently sparse landscape. Trees will be tagged with donors' names, she added.
To donate to the new shelter project or to adopt a tree, Wagter said people can go online at www.hsoyuma.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
She said the new shelter will be a tremendous improvement over the current facility.
With more kennel space, it will include a quarantine wing and a stray wing that will be separate from the two adoption wings. That way, she said, animals will have a much better chance at staying healthy and being adopted out.
Also, in addition to outdoor kennels, there will be indoor kennel runs and air control in the buildings to prevent the spread of disease. HSOY's low-cost spay and neuter clinic has also been moved to the facility so that animals have access to veterinarian care on site.
She added that they are very grateful for a recent donation of an X-ray machine from Foothills Animal Hospital, which they were in desperate need of. Wagter added most X-ray machines run at about $40,000.
The new shelter will take on the same hours as the old shelter for now, she said. Office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, and kennels will be open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.
She said they are planning to sell their old shelter property with the contingency that whoever buys it can't use it as a shelter because it is not conducive to that purpose.
Sarah Womer can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6858. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/YSSarahWomer or on Twitter at @YSSarahWomer.