With only a few months to go until move-in day at its new facility, the Guelph Humane Society is well on its way to covering the cost of the $10 million project.
At this point in the Unleashing Hope campaign, the agency has about $2.5 million to go.
“It’s where we expected to be at this point. Obviously the pandemic impacted that a little bit,” Adrienne McBride, the agency’s executive director, told GuelphToday.
“We know our community is excited about this project and they want to see it come to fruition, so we are hopeful the community will continue to support it … and be part of the new beginning for the Guelph Humane Society by contributing financially to the project.”
Despite a six-week delay in construction due to the pandemic, which has also impacted fundraising – next month’s annual gala has been cancelled – the project is “on track” to be ready for move-in early next year.
At about 18,000 sq. ft., the new Hanlon Creek Boulevard facility is about six-times the size of the current location on Wellington Road, near the Hanlon Expressway. As a result, it will allow for more animals to be housed, as well as features such as a dog run that will allow canines to go outside and back in as they desire rather than having to wait for available staff or volunteers to take them.
There will also be community space so the agency can host events such as microchipping clinics rather than rent space off-site and lug its equipment around as it does now.
“All of the focus … is what can we do to alleviate the stress on these animals and make this space the best temporary home,” McBride said, noting the building makes use of natural light and includes features like individual room air systems.
“There won’t be air rotating through the rooms and bringing strange, sometimes frightening smells into other spaces.”
GHS bought the 2.7-acre property at 190 Hanlon Creek Blvd. in 2017 and broke ground in September 2019. A $5 million donation made at that time by longtime Guelph-area residents Kim and Stu Lang brought GHS halfway to its fundraising goal for this project.
To make a donation, visit www.unleashinghope.ca.