The Monroe County Humane Association’s clinic and food pantry will more than double in size when they move to a new location next year.
The private nonprofit, which provides services for pet owners who need affordable care, recently bought more than 6 acres of land near the Monroe County Airport on the west side of Bloomington.
At the current storefront clinic on West Richland Plaza Drive, Executive Director Rebecca Warren said staff members struggle to cram their patients and resources into the building.
“We have dog food lining the hallways,” she said. “The X-ray suite frequently becomes an exam room because we don’t have anywhere else to put people. It’s above and beyond what we can facilitate safely.”
Warren said the new clinic will open in January 2020. The expansion is necessary, she said, because pet owners from across Indiana trek to the clinic for its low prices.
“Some people come from up to two or three hours away to see us,” she said. “We’ve got too many animals stacked up on top of each other, but we don’t want to say no because they need us.”
The Association also provides about 2,000 pounds a month of donated food to owners who cannot afford to feed their pets. Many owners rely on this service, Warren said, but the bags take up a lot of space.
In addition to the extra space, the new location will also feature dog walking trails and a pet memorial garden.
Development Director Kimberly Goy said she hopes the memorial garden will strengthen the bond between the clinic and its community.
“It’s another way we can involve everyone and support the animal-human connection,” she said.
The finished project will cost more than $1.7 million, Warren said. The money will come from donations.
A significant amount of money came from a woman who died last year and left the Association in her will. She donated every year while she was alive, Goy said, but this last donation surprised everyone on staff.
“It makes me sad because I wish we had known about it ahead of time to thank this person,” she said. “We’re honored she thought that highly of us.”
Although the West Richland Plaza Drive location will close once the project is done, the Association’s administrative office on South Walnut Street will not be affected, Warren said. This means Bloomington Animal Care and Control, the shelter that shares the building with the Association, will not be affected either.
Warren said the Association will be moving new and current staff members to the new location once it is finished.
“We’re all excited about what it is going to offer for the community,” she said.
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