The Weyburn Humane Society Animal Shelter had to close early yesterday due to a copper pipe bursting and creating a mess of hot water all along a wall including a door.

"Mold will be an issue in the future," noted Shelter Manager Colleen Morrice. "The pipes are just too small for the amount of water we need to use in a day. The copper pipes are developing pinholes, and this is why we are having so many issues."

With 26 dogs or puppies and more than 50 cats currently residing at the shelter, Board President Randy Bakaluk said this is just another reason they need to continue raising funds for their new shelter building.

"The building is just slowly crumbling around us, like there are things that shouldn't have been done when it was built and now we're paying the price for it when they build," he noted. 

He said the old building was constructed at the time with the intention of not taking on any outstanding debt.

"Compared to the standards now, there's some things that maybe shouldn't have been done, but it worked at the time," Bakaluk stated. "The breakdowns are becoming more regular, but one of these times it could be something that you can't fix. We've been truly lucky so far that it's been things that we've had great help from the plumbers in town and electricians to get little things fixed, but if we ever have a really big thing, I don't know what we'll do. So we really, really need to get this new building."

Recently the WHS board learned their budget for the new building project will be costing a lot more than originally anticipated.

"Presently we're just in the stages of working with the designer to get the blueprints done, which is a very long process. I'm just discovering that just things like codes we've discovered that we'll have to do and a whole bunch of little things that add up and we haven't got a final number yet, but the final bill is definitely going to be more than what we expected it to be." 

While the WHS does not want to accrue more debt for the new building, fundraising efforts have not been panning out as hoped, either.

"It has slowed down. We've had inquiries, people asking about different things, but the actual cheques have slowed down somewhat, and I'm a little surprised, but that's just the way it goes," he said. "I guess it's going to be a wait-and-see. We're hoping to have the blueprints done soon. Originally, we were hoping to start building this spring and summer, and we're not totally sure that's going to be a possibility right now. If some huge gift comes, that'll change things totally, but it's just the process of getting the blueprints approved and all the red tape. This is more to it than I had thought originally." 

This new building, which will be located at 310 East Avenue, is not a want, it is truly a need for the animal shelter.

"It's not a pretty picture," he commented. "I can go outside and play with some of the dogs and you kind of forget about the problems for a time. But the plans we have will make the dogs' and cats' lives a whole lot better. When there's mud and rain, some of the dogs are literally going outside into puddles, and we've had assistance from some people for draining the runs, but it's just the snow melting and it's a constant. That's another problem we hope to solve with the new building." 

The shelter was able to be reopened today with no further delays thanks to help from Quality Plumbing and Heating. 

"We were lucky. If it had happened any other time we could have we probably had another flood like we had before. But shout out to Quality, they were there within minutes to help us, so that helped."