HVAC issue prompts Humane Society to ask community for help

Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 6:46 PM EDT
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ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) - Part of the Humane Society of St. Joseph County is currently without proper Air Conditioning, and it may take several days or even weeks to repair.

“We try to keep the kennels anywhere between 70 and 73 degrees to make it comfortable for the animals,” says Genny Brown, Executive Director for the Humane Society of St. Joseph County.

The Humane Society tells us that this HVAC unit stopped working before the holiday weekend, and as we’re experiencing the first heat wave of the year, this could not have come at a worse time.

“We actually have nine different HVAC units throughout our whole shelter to minimize the spread of disease, and because of this, these units, because they’re specialized, they cost more, they’re harder to get our hands on, and the lead time to get new ones (could be) months and months out,” Brown said.

The HVAC unit that services the Humane Society’s adoption dog and new cat intake areas is out of commission.

“Currently, in our adoption dog area, there are over 30 dogs that are being housed in that area,” Brown said. “We thankfully had extra cages in different areas of our shelter for the cats, so there are actually no cats in our new intake ward, so the cats are all good, but for our dogs, there’s really nowhere else to put them except for hopefully in a new home. So, we’re always looking for new homes or even fosters to come in and help take care of the dogs during this time, but we just want to make sure that everyone is safe and taken care of.”

While they work on repairing the unit, they tell 16 News they have rented a mobile AC unit and hired an electrician to help keep pets and staff safe & cool.

“We still have to keep the animals cool, and we still have to keep our staff safe as well, so we have a mobile unit right now,” Brown said. “To rent this mobile unit is over $700 each week, so hopefully, we get the unit fixed quickly so we’re not having to rent this long term.”

The Humane Society is looking for community support to help cover these costs, so they can continue caring for thousands of animals annually.

“Every year, we have a building maintenance fund that we hope our community members would donate to,” Brown said. “There are a lot of different projects going on, but the funds from that building fund will help pay for the cost of these HVAC units.”

And speaking of hot dogs and cats, Genny Brown wants to remind pet owners never to leave animals unattended in cars on summer days.

“We’re already impounded one animal with the police department that was left in a vehicle over the weekend, so we don’t want to see any more of that,” Brown said. “If you can’t safely stay in your car with your pet, your pet shouldn’t come with you. Your vehicle can get deadly hot in a matter of minutes, even in the shade, even with your windows rolled down.”

Click this link to donate to the Humane Society of St. Joseph County’s Building Maintenance Fund.

Head to the Humane Society of St. Joseph County’s Facebook page for more information.