Moving day is inching ever closer for the animals at the Henry County Humane Society - Geneseo. Construction progress continues on the organization's new animal shelter.

Moving day is inching ever closer for the animals at the Henry County Humane Society - Geneseo. Construction progress continues on the organization’s new animal shelter.

Construction on the shelter started in 2013, and progress has been slow as humane society board members and volunteers raised funds for the project.

“For months, I’d drive by the shelter and sigh,” said shelter manager Tracy Diehl. “Now you see trucks and workers there all the time.”

Windows and doors recently were installed at the facility. Diehl said fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) also has been added at the shelter. The FRP wall covering can be cleaned and sanitized, which helps volunteers in their efforts to keep the animals healthy, said Diehl.

The next step at the site is to finishing installing the ceiling.

“Once that happens, we can really start to set some firm dates as to when we will move,” she said.

At the moment “sooner rather than later” is the best estimate shelter officials can give for a move date.

“At some point, we’ll start feeding our outdoor feral cats closer and closer to the new shelter,” said Diehl.

Slowly changing the outdoor food location will help the shelter’s feral colony re-locate to the new facility.

Though the new building remains under construction, volunteers have taken advantage of certain finished aspects of the building.

“The laundry room has been done for awhile,” said Diehl. The room’s two washing machines and dryers are utilized to clean towels, blankets and other shelter necessities.

Prior to the installation of a laundry room, the organization relied on volunteers to wash things at their own homes.

The new shelter will ultimately have space for 15 dogs and 120 cats.

“We will virtually triple our existing space,” said Diehl.

The added space is especially important for the shelter’s feline residents.

“At the moment, we have a number of shy cats, and they would like to be in a room with other shy cats. Instead, now they’re in the same room as the juvenile cats who are running and bouncing around,” said Diehl.

A single window in the current shelter’s cat room is prime real estate for the animals.

Every cat room in the new shelter will have windows.

“That’s important for cats. They need some kind of stimulation. Even if it’s just watching a bird fly by,” said Diehl.

Both the new and existing animal shelters are located on Roos Hill Road, north of Geneseo. The new shelter is a 4,000 square-foot steel pole building with a 1,200 square-foot attached storage garage.

Donations may be mailed to Henry County Humane Society – Geneseo, 14606 Roos Hill Rd, Geneseo, Illinois, 61254. For more information, contact the Humane Society at 944-4868. Donations are tax deductible.