KOKOMO, Ind. (WISH) – Change is on the way for the Kokomo Humane Society and it’s all thanks to a major grant and community support. A new facility is in the works and it will allow the organization to expand their efforts.
Kokomo Humane Society leaders say the new facility will be more than just a new building. They’re hoping it will change the perception people have of the pound and encourage them to start looking at humane societies in a whole new way.
There are a couple dozen animals at the Kokomo Humane Society waiting to find their forever homes. Right now they’re staying at the humane society in a building from 1951 and leaders say it could use some work.
“The plumbing, water lines, electrical lines, cages,” said Art Russell, volunteer of seven years.
“Over the years, being here so long the building is crumbling. Literally crumbling,” said Karen Wolfe, executive director of the Kokomo Humane Society.
About five years ago the organization started raising money for a new facility. They had a goal of $2.1 million. Leaders said they got support from the county and numerous private donations, but it wasn’t until a $250,000 grant from the Petco Foundation that these plans started to become a reality.
“We were all stunned because we had just been doing this for so long and wondered is this ever going to happen,” said Wolfe.
The grant put them close enough to their goal that groundbreaking for the new facility will happen this spring.
“Time for it? It was time for it about 10, 15 years ago,” said Russell.
“We were blown away. It’s really, really exciting,” said Wolfe.
“It is just amazing that we are going to be able to help a lot more animals and be in a nice, cleaner, healthier environment for the animals,” said Bree Larrick, humane society employee.
A sign shows where the new location will be. It’s located on the corner of Home Avenue and Hoffer Street. Humane Society leaders say this location will be easier to get to which is key for their goals with the new building.
“We are trying to bring the community back into our facility for other reasons other than adoption,” said Wolfe.
They are hoping to change the way people look at the humane society. They have big plans on how to do that.
“We are going to have a cat café which is new around the country, but I think we are the first ones that will have it in the shelter,” said Wolfe.
People will be able to come in for coffee and baked goods while socializing with adoptable cats. Wolfe said they also plan to host community events, like knitting classes.
“So you come in, you pay your fee, you donate your first object, like if you knit a washcloth with a paw print on it, and then we sell that,” said Wolfe.
Money would then go right back to the shelter to help with operating costs and to keep adoptions affordable, allowing more animals to be adopted into their forever homes.
“It takes a long time to change people’s perspectives, but when we are in that shiny new building I think people are going to think, oh they’re going to take care of them,” said Wolfe.
The Kokomo Humane Society is still trying to raise around $120,000 for the project.
For information on how to donate or get involved in their fundraisers, click here.