News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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March 7, 2014

New animal shelter gets welcome boost

TERRE HAUTE — The aging Terre Haute Humane Society shelter is not a place for the faint of heart.

Inside, the building is loud with barking, homeless dogs of all sizes and shapes. Their eyes gaze at each visitor from inside their kennels as if saying, “Please take me home.” The building is also very old, crowded and meandering.

On Friday morning, a small group of women – representing 100 + Women Who Care – gathered at the shelter to present a gift – $18,000 – for the Ivy Tech Foundation for its efforts to construct a new Humane Society facility in the south-side industrial park. A $2.5-million-project, the new facility will be state-of-the-art, clean, spacious and educational.

“We are very grateful” to the 100 + Women Who Care, said Ann Valentine, chancellor of Ivy Tech and a member of the relatively new civic organization. “This is a significant gift.”

Fundraising for the new shelter, which will also provide educational opportunities for veterinary health students, is still in the “silent phase,” Valentine said. Asked when Ivy Tech hopes to  open the new facility, she answered: “Yesterday.”

100 + Women Who Care started a little more than a year ago and in its first 12 months provided donations of more than $100,000 to local charities. It has given to the Council on Domestic Abuse, the Swope Art Museum and the Catholic Charities Food Bank. The organization is also setting aside money to build a trust through the Wabash Valley Community Foundation.

Donating to the Humane Society project through the Ivy Tech Foundation is not just a matter of helping dogs and cats, Valentine said. By providing a modern, well maintained animal facility, the new shelter will improve the attractiveness of the Terre Haute region as a potential site for economic development, she said.

The shelter is currently at its capacity with about 200 animals, said Fred Strohm, vice president of the Terre Haute Humane Society board. The donation from 100 + Women Who Care will help construct the new shelter and bring attention to its needs, he said. Apart from some guaranteed funding from the city and the county for animal control, the shelter is totally dependent on dedicated volunteers and donations, he added.

“When the community is behind us, that’s a bonus,” Strohm said.

For more information about the Ivy Tech/Humane Society project or to make a donation, visit www.ivytech.edu/wabashvalley/ THHS/. For more information about the Terre Haute Humane Society or to make a contribution, visit www.THHS.org.

Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at 812-231-4232 or arthur.foulkes@tribstar.com.

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