Cascades Humane Society starts work on expansion

Posted at 9:49 AM, Mar 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-15 17:57:58-04

Cascades Humane Society (CHS) is expanding its facility this spring.

Expected to break ground in early March, the new addition on the shelter will be approximately 1200 square feet. The expansion will double the space CHS currently has for dog holding and surgery areas.

“This is a very exciting time for everyone involved at CHS. This expansion has been a dream come true. We are looking forward to housing more animals and better serving the Jackson community,” says Executive Director Heather Leszczynski. With the additional space in dog holding, Mrs. Leszczynski estimates the ability to house 11 more dogs at any given time. “This may not seem like a big number, however, it will help ensure that as dogs get adopted, we have dogs to replace them on the adoption floor. All too often we have dogs that are waiting to be spayed or neutered, or on a stray hold, and they cannot be made available yet. That means cages sit empty on the adoption floor, which leaves the public with less choices. It also means less dogs being looked and therefore adopted. That is something we want to avoid.”

The additional surgery space means not only more space to perform surgeries, but that all medical and surgical supplies can be housed in the same area, creating a more efficient use of space. This will also allow CHS to move their examination room to the new surgical suite, making room for a few more cat cages.

“As a limited in-take, no-kill shelter, every cage is a life saved. The more cages we have, the more animals we can house, and more of a difference we can make for abandoned animals”. CHS adopted 988 animals in 2015 and more than 1,130 animals in 2016. If this trend continues, CHS will need every bit of space to help, and more donations to ensure each animal is cared for appropriately.

Every animal that comes to CHS is spayed or neutered, brought up-to-date on vaccines, disease tested, and given all the necessary medical attention they need prior to being adopted. “While we feel it is important and necessary that these animals are as ready for their forever homes as possible, it costs CHS more than what we make in the adoption fees. Doing more adoptions means we need more funding to ensure these animals get all the care they deserve.”

The new addition is possible due to the generosity of the Weatherwax Foundation and a bequest from a supporter. “We are so grateful to the Weatherwax foundation for all the support they have shown CHS over the years. We are so thankful that they feel a special connection to our mission -- connecting animals in need with people who care -- and that they were willing to help fund our dream of an expansion,” says Leszczynski. The bequest gift is allowing CHS to build the bigger and improved dog holding area. “We were lucky that this donor thought to put CHS in her will. She was a dog lover so we wanted to do something special with her gift and thought there was nothing better than helping more dogs get adopted. We hope others can see what a huge impact planned giving can have on a non-profit organization and think to include places like CHS in their estate planning and wills.”

O’Harrow Construction will be responsible for making the new addition plans come to life and AE Design is handling all the architecture and design. A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for March 15, 2017 at 10am. All CHS supporters are welcome to attend.