AP NEWS

West Virginia animal shelter says it needs $80K to stay open

November 29, 2019

BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia county’s only animal shelter has launched a fundraising effort to save it from closing at the end of the year.

The Register-Herald on Thursday reports the leaders of the nonprofit Humane Society of Raleigh County say they need $80,000 to keep from shutting down.

The organization says it’s struggling to pay utilities and outstanding taxes after an increase in animal medical emergencies left it with a $150,000 veterinarian bill.

“We were threatened to be cut off from our vet care, so we paid the vet bills. Now we can’t pay our utilities. We just didn’t start this year off on a good leg,” said Angela Messer, the center’s creative director.

The shelter says it’s raised $14,000 so far. They’re hoping for large fundraising hauls at their Santa Paws event at the Plaza Mall on Dec. 7 and during the Beckley Art Center’s Giving Tuesday Open House on Dec. 3.

The Humane Society of Raleigh County has been open since 1979. It has taken in about 1,300 abandoned, neglected or stray animals this year.

County Commissioner Ron Hedrick told the newspaper he wants to help the shelter find funding.

“They are definitely on my radar and I want to do what I can to help them out,” he said.

Hedrick has invited the humane society’s board members to a meeting next month to talk about shelter finances and possible fundraising solutions, humane society officials said.

“What a lot of people don’t understand is that anytime someone in Raleigh County calls animal control and they go and retrieve an animal from whatever the situation is, those animals come here,” Messer said. “Without us, there is no other animal shelter in the entire county. Where are those animals supposed to go if we are gone?”

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Information from: The Register-Herald, http://www.register-herald.com