Mercer County humane society gets new building for just $1 — but it’ll still need donations

Local News

TRANSFER, Pa. (WKBN) – After nearly eight months without a building, the Humane Society of Mercer County has a new home. And the asking price? It’s only a dollar.

A dollar doesn’t go very far these days, but for this nonprofit, it got them a 23,000 square foot building that sits on 10 acres of land.

“Everybody’s pretty excited,” said Paul Tobin, lead humane officer. “It’s taken off pretty well. Just within the last couple of weeks, we’ve been trying to put things together. A lot of community support so far. Things are going to turn out pretty good.”

That community support started with Aaron Burnworth, who sold the building to the Humane Society. He has a shelter dog and thought this was the best way to give back to the community.

The former building the Humane Society used was small, and they said it was more of a risk to have animals there than it was safe.

The new location is the former Transfer Elementary School, which became a culinary school after the elementary school moved out. It’s been sitting vacant for over a decade.

The Humane Society said with the amount of space at the new location, the possibilities are endless.

“We’ll be able to bring people in — groomers, vets maybe, some low-cost stuff a couple of times during the months,” Tobin said. “We have a behavioralist that works with our dogs. He’s been talking about wanting to get into a facility so this will give him a spot to come to. So it’ll be pretty big.”

They also plan to use the building to help out other rescues.

Before they’re able to do all of this and open their doors, there’s plenty of work that needs to be done. And even though the building was only a dollar, the renovations are going to be pricier.

“The building is structurally solid,” Tobin said. “There’s some mechanical issues that need taken care of that are a little on the pricey side.”

Some of the things that need to be done include electric work, painting, patching up holes and getting rid of vandalism.

Since the Humane Society is a nonprofit, it doesn’t get any help from the government. It’s run strictly on donations, which is what it’s counting on to put this whole thing together.

“It’s going to help the community and we really need people’s help as well to get it up and going,” said Brad Reichard, a volunteer.

Reichard has a pretty good idea of what the building used to look like. He went to school there from Kindergarten to third grade!

“The whole facility means something to me,” he said. “I’m a big history buff guy. These guys get a kick out of me going through there. I’m like, ‘Well, that was the library, this was that, that’s my room.'”

The Humane Society of Mercer County is hoping to raise $100,000 to get the building where it needs to be.

There are plenty of ways to help if you’d like to, whether through donations or volunteering. The Humane Society is hosting several events to raise money. It’s planning a chicken dinner sometime in August and it’s hoping to have that at the new facility. You can also donate via its Facebook page.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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