Friday, May 4, 2018

Lawrence Humane Society breaks ground on new animal shelter

News Release:
LAWRENCE, KAN.​ -- May 3, 2018 -- The Lawrence Humane Society broke ground this afternoon on its new,state-of-the-art, $7.5 million animal shelter in East Lawrence.

The new facility will replace the organization’s existing,failing shelter and will help the organization provide the highest-quality care to pets in need while saving more lives.

“This is such an exciting and monumental day for the Lawrence Humane Society, and it would not be possible without the support of all of the generous donors, volunteers, community leaders, and staff who have been involved,” said Kate Meghji, executive director for the Lawrence Humane Society. “This new facility will change the landscape of animal welfare in our community, and will ensure that we will be able to meet the needs of pets and the people who love them --now and well into the future. We are over the moon to see construction begin!”

Board and shelter leadership have been working with nationally- and locally-recognized experts and architects since 2013to design the facility that will help every pet have the chance for a loving home, and every pet parent have access to the resources and support they need to keep their pets in their homes -- and out of the shelter -- for life.

The resulting new,~22,000-square-foot facility will allow for improved operational efficiency for current programs and services, as well as the development and enhancement of new programs and services aimed at improving community animal welfare and keeping pets and people together. Construction is slated to start immediately, and the Lawrence Humane Society anticipates the new facility being fully operational by Summer 2019.

Public fundraising for the project began in April 2017, and prior to this afternoon’s ceremony, the Lawrence Humane Society had raised $7.2 million of the $7.5 million total, including a $2.5 million commitment from the City of Lawrence.During the ceremony, the ​Petco Foundation​, one of the leading funders of animal welfare in the country, surprised the Lawrence Humane Society with a $150,000 Match Challenge Grant check.

The Petco Foundation, a national animal welfare funder, will match every dollar raised, dollar for dollar, up to $150,000 to help the Lawrence Humane Society complete fundraising and reach its $7.5 million goal. “The Petco Foundation has been such a generous supporter of the Lawrence Humane Society,” said John Olsen, board chair for the Lawrence Humane Society.

“We are so grateful for their amazing investment in this project, and their belief inwhat we are doing for the pets and people in our community. We are so close to reaching our fundraising goal, and now,with gifts matched, we know we’ll be able to finish raising the funds needed for this life-saving and life-changing facility.