Humane Society needs new roof


GREENFIELD — Leaders with the Hancock County Humane Society have known the flat roof on their building at 214 E. Main St. was unique since they moved there in 1999.

What they’ve found after refinishing the flat rubber roof several times is its shape can be costly. The roof is now in desperate need of replacement, leaking water into the walls every time it rains, and will cost at least $20,000 — nearly two-thirds of the volunteer organization’s annual budget.

Humane society volunteers are reaching out to the community through a series of fundraisers to help gather the money needed to keep the nonprofit organization afloat, said volunteer and board of directors vice president Heather White. In addition, leaders have applied for a Hancock County Community Foundation grant that, if awarded, would cover some of the cost, said volunteer and fundraising coordinator Brooke VanVelse.

The base cost for replacing the flat rubber roof will be at least $20,000, but if any decking — the wooden slats underneath the rubber — must be replaced, that will tack on another $2,000, White said.

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It’s a big number for an organization with no paid staff and fairly low overhead — the Humane Society owns the building and has since 1999, VanVelse said. The nonprofit is supported completely through donations and fundraisers, she said.

And one of the biggest challenges for the small nonprofit organization is clearing up misconceptions county residents have about its funding, she said. Though the organization takes cats and kittens from Greenfield-Hancock Animal Management, especially pregnant cats, young kittens and animals that need dental work or other special care, the nonprofit doesn’t receive any city or county funding or tax dollars, VanVelse said. The biggest expense for the Humane Society is veterinarian costs, she said.

The Humane Society, established in Hancock County in 1977, has a good relationship with Greenfield-Hancock Animal Management, taking cats when they don’t have room and passing along items like dog beds or dog food to the county facility, she said. The nonprofit also works with Partners for Animal Welfare Society and other organizations dedicated to finding homes for animals and preventing unnecessary euthanization of animals in the greater Indianapolis area, she said.

The organization boasts a volunteer corps of about 45 adults and 20 to 25 teenagers, who feed, groom and medicate the cats and kittens roaming the cages and cat trees in the facility, VanVelse said.

The Humane Society also gives out thousands of pounds of pet food through its pet food pantry every year, she said. Last year, pet owners in need received 4,000 pounds of dog food and 2,000 pounds of cat food, she said.

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The Hancock County Humane Society, 214 E. Main St., Greenfield, plans a series of fundraisers to help cover the costs of a desperately needed roof replacement. The Humane Society, an all-volunteer organization, runs completely from donations and fundraisers. Its hours are Tuesdays from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Events planned are:

  • 4 p.m. April 23: Fundraiser at Dairy Queen, 801 W. Main St., Greenfield
  • 5 to 8 p.m. May 24: Fundraiser at Culver’s, 1846 N. State St., Greenfield
  • 6 p.m. May 8: Low-cost vaccination clinic for dogs and cats, Greenfield Fire Territory station No. 1, 18 W. South St., Greenfield