“It’s literally like herding cats,” said Tracy Diehl, director of the Henry County Humane Society - Geneseo.

“It’s literally like herding cats,” said Tracy Diehl, director of the Henry County Humane Society - Geneseo.

On Wednesday, Dec. 13 a brigade of 20 volunteers worked to transport cats from the old animal shelter to the new Bob & Barb Kuhns Pet Haven shelter.

“I’m moving cats and burning fats,” joked one volunteer lugging a pair of cat carriers.

Though the new shelter is still in the final stages of construction, volunteers decided to take advantage of weather in the upper 30s to move the cats.

The shelter’s five cat rooms are completely finished and the new residents were busy exploring their new home on Dec. 13.

Each cat room features large windows, extra large window sills and sinks.

“The sinks are really for the volunteers, but they’re also another place for the cats to sit and explore,” said Diehl.

The week prior to the big move, volunteers had relocated a handful of cats suffering from ringworm to a quarantined area at the new shelter.

Between those early arrivals and the felines who moved on Dec. 13, the shelter has close to 70 cats on site.

Five rooms means the cats have more space to call their own.

“As soon as we moved them to the new rooms, we had some clamering for the windowsills,” said Diehl.

The old shelter had only one windowsill, which was prime real estate for the cats.

“We’d sometimes have 30 cats all trying to squeeze in that little space,” said Diehl.

To move the kitties from one shelter to another required each cat to be placed in a carrier.

“It’s easier to get some in a carrier than others,” said Diehl. “Not everybody likes the carrier.”

Though volunteers had discussed moving the cats in an orderly fashion, in the end, it was a “grab and go” approach, meaning whatever cat was willing to get in a carrier was the one moved.

Humane society officials are still waiting for the dog kennel gates to arrive, but still planned to move the shelter’s two dogs to the new site.

Ultimately, the shelter will have runs for 15 dogs, as well as two canine quarantine kennels.

The dog runs will open into a fenced yard known as “Buddy’s Play Pen.”

With the animals now at the new Bob & Barb Kuhns Pet Haven, members of the public are invited to visit the new shelter.

“We just ask that they’re patient with us,” said Diehl, adding because of the move there may be small delays in processing adoption approvals.

“We’ve more than tripled the amount of space we had before. It will be trial and error just to figure out where we’re going to put things,” she said.

The new shelter will need new volunteers, as well. “Our current volunteers are excited about the new building, but a bigger building means we’ll need more help,” she said.

The Henry County Humane Society - Geneseo also could use additional funds to finish their building project.

“Our fundraising isn’t over. We’ll be sending out our Christmas appeal letters, and we want people to know we are a not-for-profit, so donations are tax deductible,” said Diehl.

At the moment, though, volunteers are just happy the animals will be spending the holidays at a new home.

“It’s Merry Christmas to them,” said Diehl.

The new Bob & Barb Kuhns Pet Haven is located at 14606 Roos Hill Road, north of Geneseo. It is open daily from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, phone 944-4868.