Broken furnaces leave Washington Co. Humane Society in the cold

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SLINGER (WITI) -- The Washington County Humane Society could use a warm up as temperatures continue to drop. Workers arrived on New Year's Day to find two broken furnaces and another on the outs.

"We heard a loud hissing noise. It sounded like metal grinding on metal, which is never a good sign," said Executive Director Marnie Brown. "Three furnaces out at one time -- that's a shock."

Several cats were moved from their usual spot in the now-cold lobby to warmer offices in the building.

On Friday morning one furnace was repaired, however the problem hasn't been fully solved.

"It's jerry-rigged for right now," said Brown. "Obviously that's a concern because these kinds of temperatures are dangerous."

That's not the organization's only concern. Workers say they will need to rely on the community for donations to fix the heating problems.

"It's a financial difficulty for us," said Brown. "Our supporters are wonderful and they're helping us out a lot."

The cost to repair all three furnaces could reach up to $10,000.


  • Linda Ouellette

    If you need to foster your cats out,i can help. I have plenty of room to house them til the problem is fixed.i have plenty of dog crates to put them into and a nice warm room to keep them into.
    you can reach me at my email address.i will come and get them if you dont have transportation for them. Lets keep the kitties warm.
    linda ouellette

  • Kitty Wuerl

    What is the phone number and address to the shelter in case people would like to either call with a love offering or drop their love offering in person ? I also forwarded this story to some cat email groups I belong to, as well, I forwarded it to a few local cat rescue groups I know, and I also made a public appeal on FACEBOOK.
    I pray people step forward to assist with this EMERGENCY situation.

  • Wade Krause

    How is $10,000 a reasonable estimate. Give us a call and I can assess for free. I can give you equipment at cost and work out a way cheaper labor rate. Call Reliable Mechanical Services 414-335-9379

  • kati ellis

    Are any going to be transfered to WHS? If so I foster and have an extra room for a few till next week. No school on monday so we will all be home for sure to tend to them.

  • Debbie

    Right now we are doing ok as far as making sure the animals are safe and warm. We do have an emergency plan in place if anything else should happen. We have an older building that has been added on many times – we have units on top of the building and then we have units that help to heat other areas of the shelter. We had our lobby unit repaired which ran us over $1,500 and we have a new furnace that is going in on Tuesday. Our dilemma right now is how to pay for the furnace repairs we incurred just now and the ones we had just done a few weeks ago … not to mention paying for the new units. I am fairly new at the shelter and don’t know the complete layout of the duct system – all I can tell you is we are a very hand to mouth shelter that has such caring employees, board and volunteers. We just hope more people can help us out in our time of need. Our lobby actually at one point dipped down to 50 degrees – and our training room was at around the upper 50’s to 60’s.

    We do anticipate more animals coming in due to the cold – our last months of 2013 at WCHS we had 103 adoptable cats on the floor and more waiting to get onto the adoption floor … as you can imagine that is a lot of mouths to feed. Then you have a set back like this … it is very tough to swallow.

    Right now more than ever we need the support of the community – our shelter helps so many other state shelters out when we are able. We take in dogs from MADACC, upper Wisconsin shelters. When Fox 6 came in we were just getting three dogs settled in from MADACC. When we have room we help others – that is the great thing about being a Wisconsinite – in times of need we pull together and do what we can to help one another out.

  • Deborah

    I am thankful for all who can help this shelter! I am a cat owner and lover! If I was not struggling with illness and finances my self and lived closer, I would offer to foster some kitties too! God bless! Will be praying for major help to. Come your way1

  • Debbie

    Thank you all so much – and thank you so much to Fox 6 … we are humbled by all the people that are helping us. We are very grateful!

    • Sheri

      Have you had the problem diagnosed? Or are you in need if a new furnace?? What size furnace?? My husband is an HVAC tech.

  • Michelle Peterson

    Could some one please tell me the Facebook cat rescue groups? I have a serious problem in a mobile home park here where there is sometimes 13 cats at the end. This lady feeds them in the summer, and now they are out in this cold. I am an extreme cat lover myself and it hurts my heart to see them out there. I just donated a 22lb bag of cat food to them again so they at least get fed. We called Maddac last year but they could not catch them, they caught one but they euthanized him/her. :( Please please we need help soon!!!

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