Almost Home seeks to pay off remaining debt

Almost Home Humane Society of North Central Iowa only has $100,000 left on the $1.5 million loan for its facilities, which were built in 2010.

Tania Elliott, shelter director, hopes to see the amount paid before August 2014.

“We’re just asking the community to step in,” Elliott said. “We’re going to have a little something built that’s going to be sitting in our lobby showing the progress of the capital campaign and how much is left and how much we’ve raised so far to get that done.”

To meet the goal, Elliott is seeking donations.

“If we can just get everybody from the community to donate $10, then we can have it paid off before next August when it’s due,” she said. “They can stop in to donate. They can come to one of the events to donate. They can donate online or mail us a check. We can also do credit or debit payments over the phone.”

Donations can also be made at upcoming shelter events, Elliott said.

On Sept. 21, Almost Home is hosting Pedaling Fur Paws.

“It’s a bicycle bar crawl,” Elliott said. “We’re going to start at Almost Home and there will be three different routes for people to choose from. The first route is only about 3 miles. The longest one is about 48 to 50 miles. We’re going to end up at Lefti’s and have a couple of raffles there.”

On Oct. 12, the shelter will host Bark for Art at John F. Kennedy Memorial Park.

“We will have a 5K, 10K in the morning. We’re going to have a dog walk, a pet talent show, pet costume contest, wiener dog race. And there will be tons of vendors out there selling animal things,” Elliott said. “We’re going to have different activities for kids and family members to do. We have an agility course for people to complete. It’s just going to be a fun-filled day for the entire family, two-legged and four-legged.”

Almost Home is a no-kill facility serving north central Iowa. The shelter currently houses 67 dogs and 98 cats, or 165 animals total.

“We’ve also taken dogs and cats and adopted dogs and cats to pretty much every state in the United States,” Elliott said.

“We do not receive any federal funding, state, city, county funding, anything like that. We’re run fully on donations. We have about 120 to 130 animals on a daily basis. It’s very tough to take care of 130 animals when you don’t get any funding other than the goodness of people’s hearts.”

The shelter also serves pets from the community.

“We have this wonderful fenced-in area to the north of our building that’s separated into two areas,” Elliott said. “It will eventually be a dog park for the community to use, but we need to get our mortgage paid off before we can start working on that. As of right now, if you’re a member of Almost Home, you can bring your animals out to let them run in the area.”

Elliott said it is wonderful to be so close to paying off the loan.

“I think the community should be absolutely blessed and feel a huge sense of accomplishment, because this is a $1.5 million building,” she said. “We’ve been able to help so many more animals since coming into this facility. And because of the community we only have $100,000 left. The community has done everything in their power to get it down to that small amount. Compared to what this building is worth and what we originally owed on it, $100,000 is nothing.”