Breaking News
More () »

Hillside SPCA in need of renovations

A nearly 40-year-old animal shelter in Schuylkill County is working to upgrade its facilities, but it can only do that with your help.

POTTSVILLE, Pa. — The Hillside SPCA Animal Shelter has been in North Manheim Township near Pottsville for decades. And while many animals have found new life after their time at the shelter, the facilities here have stayed the same.

Volunteers tell Newswatch 16 some things are so outdated that there are safety concerns for rescues.

"We have 38 kennels that need to be replaced. We have windows and doors in some of the buildings that need replacement, and our cat room floor is still the original floor from the 1990s, so that needs to go, that needs an upgrade," explained Sherrie Schafer, the Hillside SPCA shelter manager.

"I hate posting pictures sometimes, and you get comments like, 'Oh, look at that floor.' But that's how hard we have to clean with so many cats. You have to scratch the floor to make sure everything is clean, all the bacteria and all," said Holly Kowalishen, Hillside SPCA's cat manager.

This is the original building where Hillside first opened in the 1980s. Not much has changed since, and yet it's still housing animals.

"For our dog kennels, we're doing the full chain link, but what we have now isn't the best idea with dogs nowadays. Dogs have changed. Not all of them are dog friendly, so we want to make some of them safe for dogs that are selective," Schafer added.

But renovations are more expensive than the staff at Hillside originally anticipated.

They've increased their fundraising goal to $400,000 to upgrade and build an on-site vet clinic to treat new rescues.

"We don't have a vet on staff 24/7; she's only here once a week. If there is an emergency and the vets are closed, you have to go to an emergency vet, which is very expensive. But if a cat needs it, you do it. Or if a dog needs it, you do it," said Kowalishen.

The Hillside SPCA Animal Shelter runs solely on donations. If you'd like to contribute, click here.

See more pets and animal stories on WNEP's YouTube playlist.  

Before You Leave, Check This Out