New Warwick Animal Shelter Preparing for Grand Re-Opening and BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION May 20thwvhs
The WARWICK VALLEY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE will be honoring our new shelter with a ribbon-cutting ceremony May 20th at 1:00pm
ARTICLE and VIDEO COURTESY OF MID HUDSON NEWS
Caring for the many animals at the Warwick Valley Humane Society is a much easier task for Suzyn Barron and her staff now that they have moved into their new facility. The new building sits on the footprint of the old building but is much larger and well-equipped to accommodate the community’s growing needs.
Barron, the society’s President, has been working with her staff and board for several years to make the new building a reality. According to the ASPCA, 6.3 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters every year, like the one in Warwick.
“This would not have been possible without securing the initial $500,000 grant from the New York State Companion Animal fund made available specifically for improvement to shelters for secure containment, health, and adequate care of sheltered dogs and cats,” said Barron. “But this grant only covered a quarter of the cost but with $700,000 in other grant funds, we hit $1,200,000. Through the generosity of our community and a very few major donors, we were able to complete this project for our animals, staff, visitors, adopters, and our community as a whole.”
The old facility was less than half of the size of the new building and did not have sufficient space to house all of the animals. Barron’s office was used to house cats, and a temporary shed served as a home to rabbits and other animals. Now, all of the animals have sufficient space, and there is a dedicated quiet room for dogs and space for veterinary care.
The original building, which was demolished, was built shortly after the group was founded and was not constructed to modern-day standards. In many cases, it was difficult or impossible to safely secure animals due to a lack of space, and health concerns arose because of insufficient ventilation. The new facility is state-of-the-art and addresses all of the concerns Barron and her board had relative to the prior facility.
While the new building makes a big difference when it comes to caring for the animals, many of the challenges Barron and her staff face continue. Rises in the cost of veterinary care make it increasingly difficult to operate, and the organization relies heavily on donations from the public to support operations.
“We have one particular surrendered pet in the shelter right now, she is a Yorkshire terrier about 12 years old,” said Barron. “She had developed mammary tumors because she was never spayed and she recently underwent surgery. That cost alone was $1,200. We rely on the public to help keep our doors open for the pets that need us.”
The organization is a not-for-profit corporation that was originally founded in 1954. It has operated the Warwick Animal Shelter since 1968 and is the second-oldest humane society in Orange County, and will be celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2024.
They provide animal control services by contract with the towns of Warwick and Chester. They also contract with the town of Tuxedo as an impound facility.
The Warwick Valley Humane Society admits approximately 500 animals each year including, dogs, cats, rabbits, and guinea pigs. The humane society’s return to owner and adoption rates are very high, at 91% for dogs and 85% for cats.
“Once again, I have to thank our generous donors, the Warwick Town Board, and the many volunteers who came together to make this dream a reality,” concluded Barron.
The Humane Society is always seeking monetary donations to their various charitable funds, as well as volunteers.
To learn more, or see the pets available for adoption, visit their website at www.wvhumane.org