Lawrence Humane Society leaders say they’ve outgrown building, raising money for new shelter

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LAWRENCE, Kan. -- The Lawrence Humane Society takes in more than 4,000 dogs and cats per year, and serves as Douglas County's only humane society. They've been operating out of the same building for more than 20 years and now administrators say it's no longer suitable for their growing needs.

"This building that were in right now was built in 1995. It was built at a time when animal shelters were meant to house animals for three days," said Kate Meghji, Executive director of the Lawrence Humane Society (LHS).

Now, LHS keeps animals for weeks, or even months depending on their condition. Administrators say the building isn't fit for that.

"It's a loud facility, we don't have any means of isolation for disease so if one dog gets sick in one kennel, it can spread throughout the population very quickly," said Meghji.

Staff members are currently raising money for a new shelter that would provide more functional space for housing animals, better cages, and an improved medical clinic and quarantine areas.

"An ideal facility is going to have smaller rooms, each with their own dedicated HVAC systems so if disease breaks out, you can quarantine a small space and that way the animals will be healthier," Meghji explained.

The Lawrence Humane Society has already raised more than $6 million of the $7.5 million project total, including a $2.5 million commitment from the City of Lawrence. The organization has just announced a crowdfunding campaign and is asking for help from the public to raise the rest.

"We know that in our community, our donors are the $50 or $20 a month donors, so we know it's going to be those small donations that really get us to our goal," said Meghji.

Interested pet parents, animal lovers, and community supporters are encouraged to visit lawrencehumane.org/forthem to set up personal fundraising pages and fundraising teams to help the organization achieve its $150,000 goal by August 31.