SEBRING — For the dogs at the Highlands County Humane Society, next summer may be a bit more pleasant.
By the end of this year, 40 new kennels should be completed and ready for occupancy by the dogs at the shelter, said Judy Spiegel, president of the Highlands County Humane Society.
“They’re going to move right in and be very happy,” she said.
All of the kennels will have a roof, she said. Fourteen commercial fans will keep the air moving through the kennels, Spiegel added.
Spiegel said the concrete foundation was poured and work is proceeding from that point.
One of the goals is to make the structures easier to clean, she said.
Spiegel said the Humane Society is building the kennels with money from a bequest, but is hoping that sponsors will come forward for the structures. So far five people have paid $500 to sponsor a kennel.
Sponsorships and donations will help to get construction started on the second phase of the project that will include new housing for the cats, a section for small dogs, an office and a veterinary area, Spiegel said.
She said she hopes that construction on that phase will start by 2015.
When the kennels are completed later this year, a dedication event open to the public will be held, Spiegel said.
But even when both phases are completed that won’t mean the Humane Society will be able to save every dog that needs to be saved, she said.
Currently, she said, every kennel is occupied.
“We are desperate for people to come in and adopt dogs,” she said. “We are a no-kill shelter so the dogs are here until they’re adopted. We can’t save any more dogs until we have room. It breaks our hearts every day that people want to drop off dogs and we can’t take them because we have no room and people get upset with us because we can’t take their dogs.”
Spiegel said she’s ecstatic that the new kennels are under way. She said she’s found six plans that were previously completed for new kennels that didn’t become reality.