Fundraising effort continues for Aberdeen Area Humane Society building project

Published: Jan. 18, 2021 at 6:22 PM CST
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Although the Aberdeen Area Humane Society’s building project continues, fundraising has been hampered by the ongoing pandemic. It’s a hurdle in the project that AAHS Board of Directors Vice President Kelly Serr said is one the organization has had to adapt to.

“But we were at the point where we had enough money that we wanted to forge ahead. And we have a point where we can stop temporarily if we need to. We can get the building enclosed, and if we have to stop so be it. But, you know, we hope it doesn’t go that way,” Serr said.

Serr said so far the campaign has reached it’s halfway point, with a new fundraising push beginning with the new year.

“Kicked it off in January of last year. By March, we were full-blown into COVID and the results thereof. So, we’ve been working really hard. We have enough funds where we can get the building enclosed. And so we’re just continuously fundraising as we go.”

However, the AAHS is hoping to continue construction, as the project is a necessity in keeping staff and animals safe and healthy as their current facility reaches the end of its lifespan.

“We have leaky ceilings, we have busted pipes. We have kennels that, literally the bricks are being knocked out of the kennels,” Serr said.

The new building is laid out to better accommodate and give space to animals, as well as including modern features to help aid health. Shelter Manager Elaine Schiable said the new building will also help separate animals from one another, and keep stress levels low.

“We’re working on sound control, and where the animals are placed throughout the building. So the cats aren’t right next door to the barking dogs, so their stress levels are going to be able to go down. Lower stress levels mean healthier animals. Healthier animals mean they don’t have to stay as long,” Schiable said.

As with other organizations throughout the pandemic, fundraising events and donors have been fewer as financial concerns hit many. But Serr said the organization is hopeful for a turnaround this year.

“We’re trying to get the word out, and hopefully people can come to us and say, ‘Hey, we can help a little bit.’ Even if it’s small in a small way, every last penny helps us get the project complete.”

Additional fundraising options can be found here.

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