It’s been nearly five months since we broke ground on the Pope Memorial Cocheco Valley Humane Society building site. The ground breaking ceremony was highly anticipated by staff and community members alike, as it symbolized concrete progress towards our goal of moving into a new building. Although this action seemed like a victory (and in many ways, it was), it was only a starting point. We have a long way to go before we reach the finish line. We know many of you are anxious to see us finally move into our new home,and for the sake of clarity, we want to address some confusion surrounding the PMCVHS building.

The frame is up and the building looks like it’s coming along. So, what’s the hold up? When are you guys moving into the new building?

It’s very exciting to see physical, concrete progress on the new facility we’ve dreamed of for so long. However, like one encounters in any construction project, there are factors beyond our control that are delaying our move-in date. When we broke ground, the contractors gave us a tentative move-in timeline that ranged from December to March. The weather is a significant factor in the completion of the building and us being able to move in. Had the weather been on our side, a December move would have been feasible. Unfortunately, the New England weather has not been very cooperative this year (shocking, right?). The excessive rain we experienced throughout the fall delayed projects that were due for completion before the ground froze for winter. Without these projects finished, there is very little the contractors can do through the winter season. Especially considering the early snow we’re experiencing this weekend, our move-in date is likely going to be delayed until the early spring.

Beginning construction was the moment the community was waiting for. Why are you saying it was “only a starting point”?

We don’t want to make it seem like breaking ground wasn’t important—it was a really big deal! It took countless hours of fundraising, and the generosity of hundreds of community members to get us to the point where we could break ground on the PMCVHS site. However, our fundraising isn’t complete. We still have about $500,000 left to raise for the new building. Without bridging this gap in funds, we may be able to move in, but the building won’t be complete. The entire structure will be built regardless, but without the final $500,000, a large chunk of our building will just be one large, empty room. This means that we won’t have the proper spaces to quarantine animals after intake, hold strays, or provide improved care to behavioral and medical cases. Basically, we’ll have many of the same issues we have in the current facility.

The highlighted area contains the rooms that cannot be completed until we have finished raising the remaining funds.

Why did you break ground if the fundraising wasn’t complete?

This is relatively common practice when raising funds for a construction site. There is a fundraising threshold organizations must meet in order to begin construction, and there’s the final threshold for building completion. This is true in our case, but there are also more pressing reasons we broke ground before we reached our fundraising goal. If you’ve been to our current facility, you know how badly we need a new building. Almost every room in our facility leaks when it rains. We have issues getting the heat to stay on as the temperatures drop. We don’t have running water in many areas of the shelter where we need it most. Many parts of our roof have deteriorated to the point of near-collapse. We keep dogs and cats in our office spaces because we simply do not have enough room or the proper areas to contain them. Ultimately, we broke ground on the new building because the clock is ticking on our current facility and we need to get out of there as soon as possible.

Even if the back part of the building isn’t complete, won’t the new building still be better than your current situation?

Yes and no. It will certainly be better to have a solid, non-leaking roof over our heads, functioning heat, and a comprehensive running water system. But without the spaces for animal quarantine, stray holds, and behavioral and medical rehabilitation, we will be forced to reduce our intake of animals. This means that we will be saving less animals than we do now. That is the opposite of our goals. The PMCVHS building is supposed to help us create a safer, healthier, and happier environment for our animals. This will aid our staff in getting the animals ready for adoption more efficiently, and a more welcoming adoption environment will encourage more adopters to visit. The design of the new building is intended for us to get our animals seen and adopted more often, so we can save even more animals in our community. Without the $500,000 that is needed to complete the building, the new facility won’t allow us to save more lives, but limit us to saving less.

How can I help?

Every little bit counts! Hundreds of small donations mean as much to us as one large donation because it is coming from you, our community. We truly couldn’t do any of the work that we do without your support. On our website, you can donate directly to our Capital Campaign to bring us home. Additionally, there are still many naming opportunities available as donor incentives, which you can view here. If you can’t spare much in the form of a donation, you can help by sharing our story. This holiday season, tell your friends, family members, and co-workers why CVHS is important to you and our community. Urge them to learn more about us, or even ask for donations in your name. In the spirit of the season of giving, consider helping the animals of CVHS.

To kick off the season of giving, we will be launching our final fundraising push for the new building on Giving Tuesday, which takes place on November 27, 2018. Giving Tuesday is a 24-hour global giving initiative that encourages people to support the causes they care about and inspire charitable contributions throughout the holiday season. Stay tuned to our Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram for updates and info about our Giving Tuesday campaign. Our animals will be sharing their #UNselfie photos every day until the 27th, telling you why they support CVHS. You can join in on the fun, too! Just download the #UNselfie template here, print it out, and write why you’re supporting CVHS on Giving Tuesday! Snap a pic of yourself or your pets with your reason to give and share it with us!

Spread our story, encourage others to donate, and keep an eye on our social media pages in the days leading up to Giving Tuesday. Then, on the 27th, gear up to celebrate this global giving extravaganza with us! We’ll be posting updates all day as YOU help us get closer to our fundraising goal!

We may not be finished with our fundraising efforts for the new building yet, but we are so close! You can help us bridge that $500,000 gap. Join us on November 27th for Giving Tuesday, as we launch our Fetch the Finish Line campaign.

Adopt. Honor. Advocate. Share. Donate.