One local animal shelter has its eyes on rescuing more animals in 2013 thanks to a generous donation willed to the organization in 2012. The West Suburban Humane Society is one of five no-kill shelters that is a beneficiary of a $1.5 million bequest.
Before the end of the year, the story hit the news that Sylvester Czopek of Lemont, who died in 2011, left his estate to five organizations that rescue animals practicing a no-kill philosophy. The Downers Grove group first learned about the bequest a few months ago and has been working on a long-term plan.
“The extra funds will allow us to take in and adopt out more dogs and cats in the coming year,” says board president Pat Rowland. “We get animals from local animal control and also from other agencies and we hate to turn them away due to lack of funds. A donation like this will go a long way in helping ease our operating fund.”
The West Suburban Humane Society rescues around 1,000 dogs and cats each year. Although most of the animals come from the Chicago-area, they’ve also rescued animals displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy. The shelter currently calls an old house home and a longer-term goal is to raise the funds for a new shelter.
“A converted home has been our shelter since our inception,” adds Rowland. “We continue to do our best to make repairs but our ultimate goal is to build a new shelter in our same location, keeping it no-kill of course. Some of these funds will go into our building fund for that new shelter.”
The shelter currently has limited space for dogs and the organization would like to be able to rescue more dogs. There is also a need to make sure some of the cats that are there long term are comfortable while they are there. Some of the funds will also be set aside to focus on the future.
“Another portion of the money will go into an endowment for the shelter,” says Rowland. “That will help use continue to rescue animals by providing continued funding for various programs. It will also enable us to continue to improve the shelter that we have so we can continue to care for the animals we rescue each year.”
The other four organizations receiving funds include:
- Will County Humane Society in Shorewood
- Naperville Area Humane Society
- Animal Welfare League in Chicago Heights
- PAWS Chicago Adoption Center
Rowland says it’s not the first time the organization has received a surprise donation like this. Learn more about the West Suburban Humane Society online and follow them on Facebook.
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