Roice Hurst Humane Society Facing Challenges

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For years, the Roice Hurst Humane Society has saved and adopted out thousands of animals in Mesa County. But now, the shelter is overcrowded, the staff is overworked, and they are asking for the community's help.

Walk inside the Roice Hurst Humane Society and you'll see all kinds of dogs and cats looking for the perfect home. While they're hard at work wagging their tails and enticing visitors to adopt them, the Roice Hurst staff is left working like dogs.

"Over the past six months, we've had over six-hundred animals dropped off at our gates," said Karen Berryman, the head of Roice Hurst.

Having to provide for all those animals is starting to catch up with them, both physically and financially. Roice Hurst can only raise money through adoptions and private donations.

"And then to feed them, and bathe them, and do everything, our budget doesn't really allow too much in payroll," said Berryman.

Then there's the issue of space. The humane society is legally allowed to hold only so many animals.

"People will call, and we're full," said Berryman. "We are a no kill, and they know that, so what they do is just leave their pets at the gate."

The Roice Hurst staff says there is only one thing left to do.

"We've got to add onto the Roice Hurst Humane Society," said Berryman.

The shelter hasn't been updated since 1966. But as the Grand Valley continues to change and grow, the shelter, the staff says, must do the same.

It is looking at expanding the building, adding more kennels, creating a boarding program, and starting a grooming service. The staff says it's all to help their animals find someone who will love them.

"The best thing you can ever do is have a pet," said Berryman."

Roice Hurst says it is getting ready to launch a fundraising campaign to help pay for those new improvements. It says it should kick-off sometime around June.

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