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Published: Thursday, 7/29/2004

Grant from Andersons helps kennel in quest for fencing

BY RACHEL ZINN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Good fences make good neighbors, according to Robert Frost's Mending Wall, and workers at the Wood County Humane Society shelter know the verse applies to their canine residents.

At the Bowling Green facility, good fences would mean no more soft, wet noses getting scratched on sharp edges or dogs burrowing under kennel barriers and fighting with other animals. The shelter is raising money to install new fencing that would create safe outdoor kennels and exercise areas.

"It's important for the dogs to have exercise while they're here. We're a no-kill shelter, so some of our animals are here for a long time," shelter manager Renee Valtin said. "The dogs like to be outside in the fresh air."

The Andersons Fund Supporting Organization recently awarded the humane society a grant to help build the new kennels. The grant will provide $1 for every $2 the humane society raises up to $40,000.

So far the humane society has raised about $25,000. The organization needs to raise $15,000 by December so it can receive the maximum grant funds. The price tag for the new kennels is estimated at $64,000, so the humane society may have to raise additional money next year to cover some costs.

"We're over the halfway mark, but we've still got a ways to go," said Esther Fabian, head of the humane society's board of directors. "We have five or six grant requests submitted that we're waiting to hear about, and we're asking current supporters for more donations."

The Wood County Humane Society cares for hundreds of surrendered or abused dogs and cats each year until the animals are adopted. The group operates on an annual budget of about $160,000 and relies heavily on donations and volunteers.

The shelter's current outdoor kennels were built with donated

donations and volunteers.

The shelter's current outdoor kennels were built with donated fencing and volunteer labor. Workers use the outdoor space to exercise the dogs and keep them secure when the indoor facilities need cleaning.

The kennels and the exercise areas have been built piecemeal over the years, so the layout is confusing and thefencing needs repairs.

"The fencing we have is a jumbled up mess. It's not as safe as we'd like it to be," said Chasity O'Neill, humane society spokesman.

Poggemeyer Design Group of Bowling Green drew plans for the kennels for free, and Delventhal Co. of Toledo agreed to donate $5,000 worth of services to put in the new fencing.

Humane society officials said they are optimistic about raising the rest of the money needed to move forward with the project.

"With the new kennels, the dogs will be happier and it will be better for the staff and volunteers," Ms. Fabian said. "This project is badly needed."



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