FAIRMONT, W.Va. – The Marion County Humane Society started the demolition of its old existing shelter on June 6 and wrapped it up on June 7, making way for a new shelter to be built.

The old facility was built in 1978, and workers have tried to keep it running smoothly. According to the Shelter Director, Jonna Spatafore, over time, things started to fall down and break, and they kept putting money into fixing it then. She mentioned that at one point, the science of animal welfare changed, and all of a sudden, they were behind. Animals were in smaller kennels than what was recommended, lighting was wrong, so they needed to get up to date with what the animals really deserved. That is what they are looking for in the new shelter.

Representatives with the shelter have planned this demolition for years and had even had architectural drawings made for a new building, but the money just wasn’t there. But recently, a few people left estates for the shelter when they passed away, giving the Marion County Humane Society a decent amount of money to hopefully re-build the new shelter. The inherited funding is now being supplemented by loans and donations.

The new shelter will have a variety of improvements for the animals, such as individual cat rooms with cat porches so that they can go outside safely.

Another improvement will be that dog runs will be bigger and longer with indoor and outdoor access. During past winters, workers would have to shut guillotine doors after letting the dogs out at night. Overnight, the animals would have to stay in a small indoor area, and if they had to use the bathroom, they had to go in that room.

These new improvements will make it so no matter what the weather, the dogs will have the huge indoor and outdoor run, so the animals can go outside to do their business when they please.

During an interview with 12 News, Spatafore discussed how she felt about the process. She said, “It’s like, you know, it’s happening. We’re, we are getting a new shelter. The animals are going to be, you know, in much better places. You know, we won’t have to worry about not being able to get their kennel doors open and, you know. It’s, it’s just amazing. There, I can’t even describe how I feel right now, you know, it’s so exciting.”

While the old shelter is being torn down and the new one built, animals can still be adopted out through their temporary location at 864 Husky Hwy in Fairmont. Officials said they were lucky to find a place that was okay with them renting it for the time being so they didn’t have to close.

The Society usually works hard at fundraisers, but it is now a priority of theirs to help pay off their new loan. If interested in helping with donations and fundraiser events coming up, you can watch their Facebook or website.

They will be partnering with the Copper House Grill for a “We Ride for Tail” poker run on August 20. There will be a live band, “Motorcycle Drive,” who also donated their time.