Exclusive: Oconto Area Humane Society in danger of closing

By Millaine Wells, Local 5 News

Published 08/15 2014 04:48PM

Updated 08/15 2014 05:51PM

OCONTO, Wis. (WFRV) - A local humane society is out of money. Now, they are turning to the community to help keep the mission of saving animals alive. 

In the past ten years, the Oconto Area Humane Society has cared for thousands of animals.

Close to 700 called it home in 2013 alone.

Now, the doors could be closed in a matter of weeks.

"It is hard to imagine looking at all of these faces where they would be if we were not here" says Jessica Beaumia, Director of the Oconto Area Humane Society.

Stray and surrendered animals find safety at the facility.

"A lot of what we do is get animals reunited with their families. This is the first place people call" explains Kathy Campshure, President of the Board of Directors.  

This is the only facility in Oconto County for homeless animals.

People have to travel to Green Bay, Shawano or Menominee Michigan to find similar shelters.

"It saddens you to think where will these animals go? What will happen with the animals" wonders volunteer Sheila Rogers.

Some animals are only at the Humane Society for a week. However, others live there for a year or more until they find their forever home.

Operating expenses are roughly $9,000 every month.

"That includes wages, vet bills, utilities that type of thing" Campshure explains.

The shelter already relies heavily on volunteers.

"When I leave here it gives me a sense of fulfillment that I gave back and I feel good about myself" says volunteer Diana Tiegs.  

Fundraising takes place year round, but often only nets a few hundred dollars at a time.

"We do have one major benefactor who has always carried us through, but he is retiring from his job so we need to find other options to keep this place alive and well, because we need it" says Campshure.

The shelter is trying to secure money by gaining contracts with nearby law enforcement agencies.

"Saying [to them] when you get those stray animals turned into you, have a contract with us, have that safe place to go" Campshure explains.

"It is very hard to talk about" says Beaumia with tears in her eyes. "It is hard to think that the staff that is so passionate about what they will not have a place to come and do it".

Money is the biggest need, but donations of items including kitty litter, food, and cleaning supplies will also help.

If you would like to see the facility for yourself there is an open house planned for Saturday, August 23rd.

Find out more information here.

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