Oconto animal shelter may close

The entrance to the Oconto Co. Area Humane Society is seen, Aug. 19, 2014. (WLUK/Gabrielle Mays)

OCONTO - The Oconto Area Humane Society says it's running out of money and it may have to close its doors.

It's the only shelter in the Oconto area.

The impact could go beyond just the animals. The shelter is home to more than 70 cats and dogs.

“We have had animals that have only been here a day or two and someone just happens to see that perfect pet. We have animals that have called this place a home for over a year,” said Kathy Campshure, Oconto Area Humane Society board president.

But time is running out and the furry felines along with man’s best friend may have to find another place to live.

“On a monthly basis we're in the red. We are the place for all of the residents in Oconto County to go to and if we were to close our doors our fear is that without a place to go these animals are going to end up abandoned,” said Jessica Beaumia, Oconto Area Humane Society's director.

Beaumia says most of the time the shelter is spending more than it’s bringing in.

“We never know on a regular basis how much is going to come in for donations and we can’t foresee how many adoptions we’re going to have,” Beaumia said.

From January to May of this year, the shelter brought in more than $44,000 but the shelter spent more than $52,000 during that same time period.

“We track every single penny that comes through this place,” Campshure said.

Campshure says the shelter’s income is based on donations.

“Everyone says, 'why don’t you have a better budget?' We know all of our expenses but the problem is we don’t have a set income,” Campshure said.

If the shelter closes, the Oconto Police Department says it could mean taking stray animals outside of the county.

“Of course we’d try to go as close as we can but you figure Green Bay or the Marinette-Peshtigo area is probably the closest right now and we don’t know if they’d be available to take the stray animals,” said Bernie Faith, a detective with the Oconto Police Department.

In the meantime, the shelter is looking into other options to help keep it from facing another closure.

Those options include asking for monthly financial support from local businesses and asking the county for funding.

The Humane Society says if the necessary donations don't come in, the shelter will most likely close by the end of October.