Humane Society firms up plans for move to Fishers

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After years of planning, the Humane Society for Hamilton County will move its offices and shelter in 2021 from Noblesville to Fishers, where it plans to build a $12 million facility.

The not-for-profit will build a new shelter at the southeast corner of 106th Street and Hague Road, where it will replace a church. The Humane Society has purchased the 10-acre property and plans to begin construction in March.

The organization’s plans became public in early 2017, when the shelter filed a rezoning request with the city of Fishers.

At 40,000 square feet, the new facility is expected to allow the Humane Society to better serve the animals in its care while expanding educational and outreach programming. The current facility is just under 10,000.

The extra space will allow the shelter to have a surgical suite, recovery and quarantine areas for sick animals, space for dogs and cats that need their own space, and outdoor exercise areas.

The organization serves as both the county’s humane society and its animal control facility, taking in more than 3,000 unwanted, neglected, abused and injured animals each year. It’s an open-admission and no-kill shelter.

The shelter outgrew its facility on Pleasant Street in Noblesville several years ago and began planning to replace it.

Last year, the shelter launched a capital campaign, called Building A Brighter Future for Hamilton County & Hoosier Animals, to raise $12 million for construction plus an additional $2 million to establish an operating endowment.

Through the quiet phase of the campaign, the shelter has raised 80 percent of its goal, including a $3.5 million grant already approved by the Hamilton County Council and commissioners and a lead gift from local entrepreneur Steve Cage. The new facility will be named the Steven J. Cage Foundation Animal Wellness Center. The shelter, which said there are still naming opportunities available, is now calling on the public to reach its goal.

The shelter consulted with the Shelter Planners of America, an organization that has designed and overseen construction of more than 750 animal shelters and humane societies, to plan the new facility. After factoring in the results of a study that assessed projected growth, the humane society sought a design that would accommodate the organization through 2035. The size of the property will allow the shelter to expand if the need arises.

Curran Architecture and Meyer Najem designed the building, which will take about a year to build.

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