Marshfield Area Pet Shelter breaks ground on new facility

MARSHFIELD, Wis. (WSAW) -- Since 2011, the Marshfield Area Pet Shelter has been providing shelter for homeless animals throughout the surrounding area. Thursday, the group broke ground on the site of what will be its new permanent home.

The group has been operating out of two makeshift locations. The first being its adoption center at the Marshfield Mall and the second, its intake center, which located within a renovated airport terminal building.

Karen Rau, executive director of MAPS, is excited for the new facility, which will present a lot of new features both for the pets, and community members.

"We're going to be able to consolidate both of those locations into this brand new facility," said Rau. "We're going to have more room for the dogs, more room for the cats; we're going to be able to isolate sick pets; we're going to have a conference room where we can host events and educational opportunities."

It will also make it easier for those looking to adopt a furry friend to come and pick out their new pet.

"I think it's going to be a nice environment for people to come and visit our adoptable cats and dogs," added Rau. "Currently, our adoption center at the mall is only for cats and we don't have any open hours at our current facility for dogs, so people have to schedule appointments. So, they're going to have a nice opportunity to visit the dogs."

Rau added that, not only will it provide more space and resources, the new facility will also allow MAPS to pick up more municipality contracts so they can assist more municipalities in the Marshfield area. She says it's the generous support of the community that helped make this all possible.

"We learned really quickly that people were willing to embrace this cause that we have for our animals," said Rau. "there's constantly businesses that contact us every week looking to help us out."

One of the businesses lending a helping hand is Weiler Convenience Stores. Beginning Monday, they will be selling shirts and 100% of the profits will be going toward animal organizations in and around the Marshfield community, including MAPS. Owner Kelly Weiler shared why she and her husband are donating both materials and profits to the cause.

"We have several pets at home that we have adopted," said Weiler. "The biggest response I hear from shelters is the vet bills are so large, and to get them in and get them taken care of and get them out the door takes a lot, so anything we can do to help, that's what we're here for."

The shirts go on sale at all three locations Monday. They cost $15.

As for MAPS, the plan for the new shelter is for it to be opened sometime in early 2020.