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Humane Society opens new ICU

The Humane Society of Southeast Missouri officially opened its new intensive care unit on Tuesday, Sept. 19. The organization celebrated the opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, followed by an open house of the new facility.

The new unit, which is 12 feet by 30 feet, stands adjacent to the main shelter, and has already started to house animals that are recovering from an injury or illness.

Charlotte Craig, the current board president of the humane society, said the unit will also improve the shelter’s ability to care for the animals by being able to isolate stray animals that come in with communicable diseases.

“This building will save even more lives because now we’re going to have a place to take an animal that is showing symptoms of a disease, and we’ve gotten to where we can pick up on that pretty quick,” Craig said.

She said they see many animals come in with diseases like parvovirus, and until now their best hope to isolate the animal was to get them into a foster home.

“The honest truth is there was no way to separate them,” Craig said. “We just treated symptoms and treated diseases. Sometimes there would be five to 10 animals having the same disease. Now we can pick them up and take them out.”

Nestlé Purina Pet Care funded the $30,000 unit, after an employee at its Bloomfield manufacturing factory read about the project.

“When we heard about the opportunity for this expanded unit for the Humane Society of Southeast Missouri, we just jumped at the chance,” Christy Frauenhoffer, Purina’s senior community affairs specialist, said. “We’re so pleased we were able to make this donation of $30,000 to make this become a reality.”

Southeast Missouri State University students in one of Dr. John Dudley classes built the unit in 2015. It was then a two-year process to transfer the unit to the shelter, pour a concrete slab for it to go on, and connect electrical and plumbing to the unit.

Craig, who celebrated her birthday on the day of the ribbon cutting, said that the unit will be able to house up to 30 animals at a time, depending on the size of the animals.

Jay Forness covers education, county government and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Jackson for the past four years. He can be reached at cbjedit@socket.net.

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