Humane Society starts expansion at new digs

The footings for an addition were in place prior to recent cold and snow took over the region.

George Heller Concrete workers install supports for concrete footings at the site of the new Wadena County Humane Society in Wadena in early December. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal

With their first million dollars in funds raised, and a new foundation in place, progress is being made towards the expansion at the planned new site for the Wadena County Humane Society.

The project has been slow to start thanks to a pandemic and the ensuing chaos it's caused to the cost and availability of building materials. WCHS volunteer Tracy Adams Kooman expressed how their plans had to change somewhat for the space as costs doubled from what they first expected.

"We decided to go back to the drawing board to work alongside our architects to simplify the plan, creating a similar shelter flow and critical spaces but altering the construction to just the east side of the building instead of both east and west sides," Adams Kooman said.

The addition to the east of the current building on Hwy 10 east of Wadena includes a new entry and expanded lobby looking over the cat colony planned at the new Wadena County Humane Society. New footings were installed here in early December. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal


This expansion creates a new entry point in the southeast corner and expands the lobby area. Jeff Harrison serves as the group's building chair.

"We are happy about the changes and our new strategically placed rooms, which will have cats beautifully and safely displayed as you enter the building," Adams Kooman said.

TMW Architecture, Schik Engineering, George Heller Concrete and Ottertail Aggregate came together to get the footings in place in the days before cold and snow overtook the area. The bidding and construction work is expected to begin in the spring of 2022.

While work continues to move to a larger space, the pet-saving group continues to work to save lives in the local area and abroad.

Most recently they worked with two cases of Chihuahua dogs, pregnant females and puppies which found safe homes among the many volunteer foster families in the area. They worked with local law enforcement on a pet hoarding case assisting with 15 dogs. They continue to take dogs from the southern states at a time many were overrun following destructive tornadoes.

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