Future of Fulton County Humane Society up in air

By David J. Coehrs - [email protected]

The owners of the Fulton County Humane Society are calling it quits, and hoping members of their board of directors and several volunteers will pick up the ball.

Steve and Tracey Wanner are both in their late 60s and planning to retire as soon as they sell the humane society building at 14720 County Road J. It was listed last week by their Realtor for $250,000. Tracey Wanner said board members and a few volunteers are actively looking for another site to reopen the center.

“We just have trouble keeping good, steady volunteers…The ones we can trust to have a key and come in and give us a day off are kind of few and far between,” she said. “Steve and I are at the age where we’re getting really tired and worn out.”

Wanner said reopening the building as a humane society is not a condition of the sale. “Our board members and volunteers, they’ll have to look for another facility,” she said. “We don’t know who’s going to buy it, or what are their intentions.”

She said all interior fixtures will be given to whatever individual or group may open a new humane society in Fulton County. Wanner said she and her husband are currently relocating as many of the 21 dogs and 38 cats the shelter currently holds to other area no-kill animal shelters. There are also more than 50 animals currently in foster care.

“We don’t want a full house” when a sale comes through, she said. “After we had some of our really dedicated volunteers leave, Steve and I are just getting too tired to do this every day,” she said. “It’s very physically hard to do.”

They probably had 10 steady volunteers who took up the slack, but that number has decreased to about four, Wanner said.

The humane society will continue to function until they receive an offer on the building and learn of the new owner’s intentions for it, she said. She said it’s impossible to determine when that will be.

Wanner said “There’s always that possibility” that the county may be without a humane society after the Wanners opened theirs on July 1, 2017. “I’m very sad about that. I really, really want it to continue. We want someone to take it over.”

She said the current building is being sold because the Wanners don’t care to be landlords.

No member of the board of directors offered to comment. Wanner did not know whether they have secured another location.

By David J. Coehrs

[email protected]

Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.

Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.