In anticipation of building a new animal shelter, the Wisconsin Humane Society launched a capital campaign to raise $5.4 million.

The new building, located at on 16th and 90th streets in Mount Pleasant, would replace its existing building in Racine. The new building would allow the organization to expand its animal housing, community space, and veterinary clinic.

Naperville Ill-based 8635 Washington Ave Holding LLC sold 4.9 acres of land located at 8635 Washington Ave. in Mount Pleasant in 2016 to the Wisconsin Humane Society for $150,000. The current facility on Chicory Road measures around 7,500 square feet and the new building is expected to be double that. While WHS has worked on improving the current space, the number of animals they care for – especially cats and sick animals – dictates the need for a larger building.

“We need to get the animals out of our Chicory Road facility,” said Anne Reed, president, and CEO of WHS. “The building is inadequate for the needs of the community. It’s crowded, noisy, challenging to keep clean and doesn’t allow for proper segregation of healthy and sick animals. It’s simply too small. In addition, there is no community space for kids or families to engage with our work. But we need the community’s support to make this vision a reality.”

The Wisconsin Humane Society acquired the building in 2013 from the Countryside Humane Society. Originally a potato barn, the building has been improved over the years but it does not meet WHS standards.  

“To uphold their promise that every animal in adoption has as long as it takes to find a new home, WHS had to add a trailer to properly isolate contagious illness among cats,” according to a press release.

 The organization is already well on its way to raising the $5.4 million. Gifts from Imogene Johnson & Helen Johnson-Leipold, the Johnson Family Foundation, Bill and Mary Walker, Mark and Bridget Kirkish, SC Johnson and other contributors have totaled $1 million.

“There are heroes among us,” Reed said, “so if you’re out there and can help, please, give us a call. We have naming opportunities ranging from dog kennels to the whole building. We would be delighted to discuss how your gift can make an impact, and how your generosity can be recognized.”

 If you would like to make a donation, contact campaign director Heidi Boyd at (262) 833-4010 or hboyd@wihumane.org. More information can be found atwww.unleashthepotential.net.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.