Renovated animal shelter dedicated

June 12, 2011|By RICHARD F. BELISLE |
  • Longtime Berkeley County Humane Society employee Joanne Griswold and a kitten named Moo enjoy each other's company Sunday in the shelter's new cat playroom.
By Richard F. Belisle/Staff Writer

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Dogs and cats brought into the Berkeley County Humane Society often stay for months waiting to be adopted, but from now on they will enjoy modern, comfortable surroundings.

The humane society on Sunday dedicated its newly renovated facility at 554 Charles Town Road, a two-year project that cost upwards of $500,000, said Shari Persad, president of the agency’s board of directors.

After the ribbon cutting, about 50 guests and visitors toured the building.

Key features are the $180,000 Evelyn Kilmer Spay-Neuter Clinic and the new $167,000 Alfred McKittrick dog kennnel.

The money came to the shelter through bequests from Kilmer and McKittrick, and donations. The humane society, which depends on adoption fees, grants and donations for its annual $200,000 operating budget, also managed to save about $100,000 toward its building fund over the last 12 years, Persad said.

“We don’t owe a thing on this building,” she said.

The new clinic, kennel, cat playroom and other improvements will make life easier for the more than 4,400 dogs and cats taken into the kennel in an average year.

Cats make up more than half of the shelter’s population at any given time.

“There are so many feral cats and they just keep multiplying,” Persad said.

About 60 percent of all the dogs and cats that come into the shelter are adopted, although some have to stay there for several months before they leave.

“We keep them as long as there’s room,” Persad said.

Every adoptable animal is spayed or neutered. It costs $80 to adopt a dog and $60 to take home a cat or kitten.
Animals that aren’t adopted are euthanized, she said.

The society first opened on its current site in 1943. A major addition was built in 1960, Persad said. Only one wall of the original structure was left standing during the renovation, she said.

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