UPDATE: Marion County Humane Society resets search for new facility

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Animals who come to the Marion County Humane Society will have to keep coming to the 40-year-old building for now.

The Board of Directors had their eyes on a plot of land in Fairmont. It was at the Marion Regional Business Park - the former Eldora Speedway.

The board has since withdrawn its request for a conditional use permit from the city.

At a May zoning board hearing, business owners spoke out against the potential of having the humane society nearby.

The Zoning Board tabled the permit request that night. The Humane Society then rescinded its request.

Frankie Spatafore is the manager of the Marion County Humane Society.

"It's a little bit disappointing," Spatafore said. "I thought we had a lot of community support. I thought everyone was gung-ho for this, but I guess not. That won't damper our day. We're just going to look for something else because regardless of where it is, we do know that it does have to happen."

Board members told 5 News they'll continue their search for a suitable property. It's been an ongoing process for five years.

The animals at the humane society will still have to deal with the daily problems at the shelter, including faulty utilities and insufficient air conditioning as the dog days of summer approach.

"They're bad conditions right now," Spatafore said. "Our animals are living in bad conditions. They deserve better. We deserve a better space to work in."

Still, Spatafore says the Humane Society is grateful for the support the community has shown to them since opening up the possibility of finding a new space.

"We just want to thank everybody that does support us and everything that we're doing, especially with finding a new facility," Spatafore said. "We're hoping that we can do more for our county and more for our community, just like they have done for us."

The Marion County Humane Society has a few more hurdles to jump before they can start building their new home.

Their fate is still uncertain after the Fairmont Board of Zoning Appeals tabled the decision to grant the humane society with a conditional use permit.

The decision was prompted by several business leaders who spoke out against the move, saying the noise from the shelter may disturb those using their nearby office space.

Now the humane society must make the argument that their new facility won't cause any issues for the local businesses.

Christine Mickey, the board president of the humane society, says at their current location- which is 40 years old- wasn't built to meet today's standards.

"Our current building, probably doesn't meet any standards in today's kennels designs," Mickey says "Our kennel was designed in the mid 1970's way before there was any standard,"

However, the humane society plans for their new space to have the right kind of sound proofing to prevent any disturbances.

"Essentially we would need to get the information from the architects that design kennels, the modern kennels of today" Mickey said "And see what the soundproofing meets the requirements that might be set forth by this board,"

Next the humane society will present this information to the board at their next meeting on June 6th.