Storms damage kennel at Stray Haven in Waverly
On Wednesday, Sept. 11, storms that swept through the region caused significant damage to the kennel area at Stray Haven Humane Society and SPCA in Waverly, N.Y. The rain and high winds that came through the area at approximately 4:18 p.m. on Wednesday were too much for the structure of the dog kennel to handle, and pieces of the roof were slowly torn off of its front portion.
According to Stray Haven's Executive Director Lynn Shumin, the shelter was open when the brief storm came through, and by the time it was over, they looked outside and saw the boards exposed where there used to be roofing over the kennel. "We saw the boards, but didn't notice the roof was torn off until we went outside," said Shumin.
Cindy Webster, Stray Haven's humane officer, noted that the rain was so hard that water was also coming into the building through the door. Several red tick coonhound puppies that recently arrived had to be relocated as the water was also coming into the kennel area where they are housed.
With 29 dogs housed at Stray Haven, and 46 cats, the staff had to work to calm all the animals down after the storm, and assess the damage.
According to Shumin, the animals were showing signs of severe stress, and the staff worked with them throughout the day on Wednesday and Thursday to settle them down.
The area in which the roof was torn is housing several German Shepherds and a Doberman that were recently seized from a home in Newark Valley. These dogs are not available for adoption until the court proceedings get underway.
These dogs had recently undergone the stress of neglect in the home where they were kept, and of the surviving dogs that were seized, most had skin problems and were undernourished. So the stress of the roof tearing off during the storm added to an already stressful situation for these dogs.
"These dogs have already been through enough," said Shumin who stood next to their kennel and was comforting them.
By Thursday, the insurance company had been notified of the damage, and volunteers were working to clean up the area affected. The pieces of the roof, which tore off one by one, landed on the other side of the kennel and in the yard. By playing their security cameras back slowly, the staff at Stray Haven was able to actually watch as the storm destroyed the structure.
But with everything underway to file a claim and rebuild the kennel, it was business as usual for Stray Haven as they work to find homes for the pets that are being housed there.
In a nearby kennel, a 15-year-old dog that was surrendered sat quietly by the corner of her outdoor pen. At a ripe old age, Shumin is hopeful that someone will take this beautiful dog in and give it a home in its golden years. Another dog that was in the area affected by the storm is a black pit bull. According to Shumin, these dogs are the hardest to adopt out, and she is hopeful that the dog, AJ, will find a home. He has been at the shelter since April.
Also housed at the shelter are the dogs that were seized from the home of Charles Sheldon in Nichols, N.Y. on Valentine's Day. These dogs are not available for adoption as the court proceedings continue, but Stray Haven is hoping to find someone to foster them.
If interested in offering a home to any of the animals housed at Stray Haven, you can visit them at their Shepard Road, Waverly, location. You can also call them at (607) 565-2859. The shelter is also in need of donations.
As for the damage, Shumin is estimating that it will take a couple of months to settle with the insurance company and repair the roof.