FAIRMONT, W.Va. – In May, Marion County residents will be asked to support the animal shelter program.

On WAJR’s “Talk of the Town,” President of the Marion County Humane Society Executive Board Donna Long said the organization is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping abused, abandoned, neglected, and owner-surrendered dogs and cats. The shelter, located at 2731 Locust Avenue in Fairmont, has a capacity of about 100 animals.

“It’s a three-year levy that will support shelter operations,” Long said. “The total amount of the levy is $400,000.”

The facility used through June of last year had a capacity of about 30 animals, and many were restricted to cages due to space concerns. Now, the facility offers larger rooms that encourage socialization. The new shelter also has improved ventilation, including a negative air pressure system that prevents the spread of airborne pathogens.

“It’s a real necessity; the old shelter was in disrepair,” Long said. “We went from a 3,000-square-foot facility to one that is almost 12,000 square feet.”

The shelter director, Jonna Spatafore, said adopting from the shelter is not only a great value, but it also helps the community and turns an animal into a forever home.

“The adoption fee is approximately $175, and they come with approximately what would cost you $755 at the vet,” Spatafore said. “Cats are $75, and they come with what would cost about $485 at the vet.”

According to information from the shelter, the cost of the levy for a person with a home assessed at $120,000 in value would be $14.40 annually. For a business owner with the same assessed value, the cost would be about $28.80.

“The levy will support shelter operations, and we will continue to tirelessly fundraise to pay the debt service,” Long said. “We just need a little help from the community.”

The primary election day is May 14, 2024.