Hi-Tor President Gives Update On Issues Facing Shelter

Roberta Bangs spoke about donations for the shelter's operation and its possible replacement


Roberta Bangs, president of Hi-Tor Animal Shelter and Nanuet Civic Association Board vice president spoke about the efforts to build a new shelter and the issues facing the shelter at Thursday’s association meeting. She thanked those in attendance for helping to keep the shelter operational while they try to find land for the new shelter, as part of the Rebuild Hi-Tor effort.

“The public has kept us open, not just through Rebuild. Any money that comes in through any of the efforts of Rebuild is in a separate account,” she said. “But they also have been very generous with donations. We now know that we will be able to make it through the end of this year, but all of the donations coming in for Rebuild, and it’s up now to about $200,000, are people that in a lot of cases would normally be giving the operations fund at the animal shelter. Our medical fund is depleted because we try to provide medical care to animals that come in that need it.”

Bangs said the operating cost of the shelter is about $600,000 a year. She said they get less than $200,000 from the county and five towns combined. She added they’ve had a few fundraisers to help raise money to keep the shelter open.

“We’re doing everything we possibly can to bring in the money,” she said. “We still need the community’s support. We can’t make it without you.”

On Saturday, April 13, the Rock the Rebuild Race takes place at Rockland Lake State Park. Registration for the 5K race costs $30 now through race day. The race begins at 8 a.m. and the first male and female finishers will receive $100 prizes.

She also said they’re continuing to raise money for Rebuild as well, and praised the work of Don Franchino, chair of Rebuild Hi-Tor. The big issue currently, Bangs said, is finding land. They wanted land in front of the current location, but it’s listed as parkland, so the county asked if they could build on the same location. Bangs said the land the shelter sits on gets too swampy, and so they wanted to move the location, which brings them to the current stalemate.

She said the Orangetown Town Board invited them to a workshop to talk about finding land there, but added it might take about two years, time Bangs said the shelter doesn’t really have.

“We really need to get this building done. Don Franchino has five different architects that are drawing up various plans,” she said. “We’re going to do this no matter what it takes. We’re all determined, and you all know animal people are all a little crazy.”


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