West Virginia animal shelter needs $80,000 by the end of year to remain open

West Virginia

RALEIGH COUNTY, W.Va. (WOWK) – A West Virginia county’s only shelter may have to close it’s doors by the end of the year leaving over 200 animals with nowhere to go.

The Humane Society of Raleigh County opened its doors in 1979. But after becoming a no-kill facility in 2012, they’re struggling to stay afloat.

“Instead of euthanizing animals, we’re trying to save them. But that comes at a cost. That comes at not paying the electric bill this month, or taxes that didn’t get paid. So we put some things off in order to save the animals”, says Humane Society of Raleigh County employee Jessica Stegmeir.

Almost $150,000 has been spent on veterinary care and vaccine expenses alone. They have not had enough funding to cover taxes, utilities and supplies and are facing an $80,000 deficit. The shelter says they’ve raised $16,000 so far.

“People aren’t donating as much as they were. But also, our vet bills are just really high”, according to Stegmeir.

Stegmeir says there are only 2 animal control officers in the county. So without the shelter, stray animals would have nowhere to go.

“It’d be devastating”, she claims, “We would just have so many dogs getting injured, hit by cars, they’d freeze. It would just be devastating”.

The shelter is not county-owned, so a majority of their funding comes from community donations. They hope to raise money at their Santa Paws event at the Plaza Mall on Dec. 7 and during the Beckley Art Center’s Giving Tuesday Open House on Dec. 3.

Donations can also be made to the shelter online.

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