Sep. 10—FAIRMONT — Three months after earth-moving equipment began tearing down the old Marion County Humane Society no-kill shelter, there are walls and roofed structures on their property.
For Board President Donna Long, it’s a dream come true for the nonprofit’s staff and volunteers, as well as future pet adopters. Gone is the old concrete block building that had outlived its efficiencies and in its place on the same site off U.S. 19 South is a modern green building that will have solar panels.
“Well, right now, it’s all framed up inside,” Long said. “We just met with the contractor…and he’s getting ready to start the electrical, so he said, that’s going to take some time —September into October because he’s got to be real careful. But, we are on schedule to open in March ’23.”
In their old, now-razed facility, the propane gas bill could run as high as $300 a day during fall and winter, while the new building’s solar array may actually allow the Humane Society to sell power back to the grid.
“We’ve got most of the [solar]project paid for …we had a gentleman, in honor of his mother and an animal lover and looking for green projects through New York, invested $25,000 in our solar project,” said board member Christina Mickey. “And then, we received funding from the Solar Finance Fund, which is a grant and we’re also, due to the [Inflation Reduction Act] that was just passed, we’re going to receive an additional 30% rebate on the project with the new IRA, so we’re grateful that that project is pretty well paid for.”
Long said, when complete, the new facility will be four times larger than the old 3,000 square foot building. The new building will have 32 dog kennels, just a few more than the old building. It will also have a small dog room. While her excitement is obvious, Long’s face lights up when she explains the new, expanded amenities for cats.
“In the old shelter, we used to have an old trailer here that was for cats,” Long said. “We’re going to have five rooms for cats in this shelter, so it’s a real expansion on our ability to take care of cats. Animal Control doesn’t pick up cats at all. They don’t have the facility for it, so we’re the only ones and at this time of year — spring, fall — it’s kitten season and we’re full all the time. So, this new facility is going to help us greatly.”
The new shelter is also exciting for Kristy Delcid, an analyst for the Bridgeport office of the McLean, Virginia-based consulting firm Xcelerate. Delcid recently rallied her co-workers to raise $579 for the shelter, which she presented to the Humane Society on Sept. 2.
“I adopted my dog Ragnar in January 2020 from the Marion County Humane Society,” Delcid said. “So, we came to this shelter, and I just love that they’re a no-kill shelter, so I just fell in love with everything they do. So, ever since they gave me my baby boy, I’ve been donating monthly and then — at work — the company was like, ‘Does anybody have any fundraising ideas?’ and I was like, ‘They’re building a new shelter, so this is perfect.'”
When asked if she has become an ambassador for the Humane Society, Delcid didn’t pause with her answer.
“I’ve definitely spoken more to people about the shelter and it’s like, ‘Hey, adopt. Don’t shop. They’re a great organization’ and when they do fundraiser events, I like to share them with my friends and such,” Delcid said.
Delcid was accompanied by Jim Dufford, Xcelerate’s vice president of the law enforcement account. He said the company donates the funds through its Xcelerate Cares program.
“We do different programs throughout the year so that the employees have the opportunity to give. Our corporate target this year was St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, but the company allows folks working at the different locations on the different contracts to recommend things and pick them for our people working here in the West Virginia area,” Dufford said.
Delcid recommended the Marion County Humane Society, so they adopted her idea and hosted a fundraiser.
“We’ve done corn hole tournaments in the past, 50/50 type events, sponsor people to run or walk or things like that,” Dufford said. “This is all Kristy’s gig — she selected the charity, we approved it and she did all the legwork to make it happen.”
“He’s definitely gotten me out more and I just feel happy coming home everyday to him,” Delcid said.
Reach Eric Cravey at 304-367-2523.