Humane Society launches campaign for major expansion

BRATTLEBORO — The Windham County Humane Society has announced a major expansion project for their Brattleboro facility that will double the size of the existing building and help to provide a greater level of care for animals and pet owners throughout Windham County.

The original building, constructed nearly 20 years ago, was adequate when the society was handling 300 animals a year, but the WCHS now helps over 1,700 animals within the same space.

Over the years, the shelter has seen increased demand for supportive programs and preventive services that help to create brighter futures for animals in their care.

Founded in 1887, the Windham County Humane Society has helped animals and the people who love them for over 130 years. In the past year alone, WCHS has provided over 400 spay/neuter surgeries and 700 vaccinations to owned pets through their Pet Care Assistance program.

The WCHS is the only shelter in Vermont offering affordable wellness care to help address financial hardships faced by many pet owners, keeping families together, and preventing animal suffering and neglect.

The WCHS has a robust adoption program. Many animals finding new homes come to Vermont from as far away as Florida and Texas. Its transport program saves the lives of animals facing euthanasia in overcrowded shelters in the South.

So far this year, 153 cats and 196 dogs have been transported to WCHS to find their new families. “Dogs come largely from the deep South,” Executive Director Annie Guion said in a news release, “while cats come from all over, including other shelters in Vermont where overpopulation is still a problem.”

The expansion will allow the shelter to provide better housing for dogs, cats, and other small animals, as well as state-of-the-art surgical and exam spaces. The WCHS has worked with Design Learned Inc., recognized as one of the best shelter-design firms in the country, to design the building.

A separate entrance will create a dedicated space for animal intake and provide privacy for those surrendering a pet.

The first phase of the project is to build the addition at a cost of $1.95 million. WCHS has already raised $1 million toward that goal. The Humane Society seeks the support of the public to raise the additional $950,000 needed to break ground on the addition in June. Once construction is started, fundraising will continue to raise the $1 million needed to renovate the original part of the facility.

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