NOBLESVILLE — Every year, the Humane Society for Hamilton County takes in more than 3,000 animals who have been neglected, abused or simply unwanted. However, shelter staff said they have been out of space and resources for more than a decade.
Among the biggest quality of life issues the organization faces is a lack of noise control for dogs taken in at the Humane Society.
"You have a dog that comes in really without any behavior issues or challenges, but they sit in there for so long and constant deafening noise in the stretch breaks them down," Rebecca Stevens, president and CEO of the Humane Society for Hamilton County, said.
"They become very overstimulated and they don't show well. Dogs that don't show well or cats that don't show well don't get homes very quickly. And then they wait and it becomes harder."
The Humane Society for Hamilton County takes in dogs from across the state that are the hardest to save and place, including a bonded pair named Lil Timon and Sampson that arrived from Indianapolis Animal Care Services last month. In order to continue working for animals like them, Stevens said they need more space and resources.
"There is no exercise space, office space and there is no area for growth," she said. "We are missing fundamental areas like a medical center. We are really a mass unit for animals without any place to triage them."
Since moving into the facility in 2006, there has never been adequate storage space or an area to bathe the animals.
To meet the growing needs in Hamilton County and beyond, the organization is building a state-of-the-art facility in Fishers at 106th Street and Hague Road. However, before they move in, the Humane Society for Hamilton County needs community support.
The new facility will also feature an arrival and in-take area for cats, which the current facility lacks.
"This is truly going to be a brighter future and we are really going to change the face of animal welfare for not just Hamilton County, but Indiana, when you get into this new facility. And, right now, everybody just needs to come together and help us get it done," Stevens said.
They are close to meeting their $12 million goal for construction of the Stephen J. Cage Animal Wellness Center, but donations are needed for their $2 million operating endowment, along with an urgent need for a storage facility until the new location is ready in 2021.
Construction is scheduled to begin in March, but before that, they need community support.
"We have worked really really hard with amazing people to design a facility that finally resolve all of these issues that these animals in the people who love and care for them every day have," Stevens said. "We are going to need everybody to come together as a community to get this done and get moved in."