The Hoopeston Animal Rescue Team (HART) is seeking help from local businesses to raise funds for badly-needed renovations and additions at the animal shelter.

HART is asking local business to present a fundraising event of their choice sometime between Oct. 15-31.

“You decide what and how you’d like to help us during that time period, then donate the proceeds of your efforts to us!,” HART board members said.

Some fundraising event suggestions include: holding a sales event/day with a percentage of the total sales to benefit HART; holding a drawing for an item of merchandise or to provide a service; make a cash donation.

The funds raised through these efforts will be used to renovate the existing kennels and add on more square footage to the current facility.

The Chronicle spoke with HART Vice President Deb Hefner about the plans for the shelter.

“We have really outgrown this building,” Hefner said. “We really need upgraded kennels because ours are old and small.”

Hefner said the building wasn’t designed to be an animal shelter and offers a limited amount of space to work.

“This building wasn’t set up for a shelter,” she said. “It was a vet’s office, a hair salon, it was a shop way back in the day, it just needs more room for the dogs that way we can take in more animals.”

The aim of these fundraiser is to two fold.

The first is to provide more spacious and modern dog kennels to replace the shelter’s current dog kennels, which range from rusted, unsafe, too small and otherwise dated, to completely falling apart.

“Our kennels are just to small for the bigger dogs and we don’t know the dogs are going to be here,” Hefner said. “We make them as comfortable as they can be.”

The second is to move forward with renovation plans will include an adoption floor, an exercise are and two viewing rooms for dogs to privately interact with potential adopters.

“All of which will allow us to help more homeless dogs, and, at the same time, enhance our adoption rates.”

Hefner said currently the shelter only has one viewing room, which limits how many people they can accommodate at one time.

For cat lovers, this additional space means that HART cab remodel the old dog kennel rooms to house more cats safely and quietly. The addition for dogs means that they can keep dogs and cats completely separated from each other, as cats can often become stressed from the barking.

“It won’t be as stressful on the cats,” Hefner said.

It also means they will be able to comfortably house more dogs and cats than they have in the past, which means more homeless pets will be safe and off the streets.

HART is a 501 C3 non-profit open intake, no-kill facility for lost, injured and otherwise homeless pets in the area. The shelter is operated primarily through the efforts of volunteers.