ALLENTOWN, Pa. — “Our surgery center is larger, so we can perform multiple surgeries in one day,” said Lehigh County Humane Society CEO Hal Warner.
This while a dog lay on an operating table inside the shelter’s new community veterinary clinic.
“We can open up a lot more services to the community,” Warner added.
This is the first part of a total $4 million renovation of the Allentown shelter.
When completed, it will add 10,000 square feet to the facility. This will increase the number of animals they can accommodate. Spaces will also be larger for dogs and cats. There will even be more space for animals like rabbits. There will also be a canine grooming area.
Where medium and small dogs used to be kept, there are now three welfare examination rooms occupying the space.
The goal, Warner says, is to provide comprehensive veterinary care affordably to those who need it most.
It’s a cost that 5-year-old Ursula feels. The German Shepherd tore his ACL. Owner Jane Kleinfelter says the surgery costs $5,000.
“I knew it would be expensive, but I didn’t think it would be that expensive,” she said.
She started a GoFundMe because she and her husband are on fixed incomes and can’t afford the price.
“It’s not like we can do occupational therapy because neither of us are working,” she said.
Warner says the shelter’s financial assistance program paid more than $200,000 in pet fees last year.
They now have a vet and are looking to hire a specialist who could help treat dogs like Ursula at a fraction of the cost.
“So many hurdles for people in terms of spending to care for their animals. We’re going to knock them down by creating the first community vet clinic here,” Warner said.
The whole project should be finished in October.