Cages of cats stack on top of each other in the small reception room. The roof is in disrepair and not structurally sound. The animals are overcrowded and dozens of cats and dogs are displaced in foster homes due to lack of space.
This is the current state of the Hi Tor Animal Care Center, which was built in 1973. As Rockland County’s only animal shelter, Hi-Tor is at risk of shutting down. The county gave $49,000 this year and with the county and town combined, Hi-Tor received $190,000 in funds for the year.
However, that’s not enough to keep the shelter running in its current condition so Hi-Tor has relied heavily on public donations. As of the end of June, Hi-Tor has received $100,000 in donated funds from the public.
With the lack of county funding, several members of the public have teamed up with Hi-Tor to form a plan to save the shelter.
Don Franchino revealed the fundraising plan that he’s spearheading. Franchino, of Nanuet, runs a New City All State office with his sons and is known in the community for his successful fundraising efforts. After 30 years, some of his triumphs include the and more recently, the .
Now he’s turned his sights to Hi-Tor.
Here’s an outline of his plan
- Fundraise at least $650,000 and ask for donation of professional services, such as electricians, plumbers, carpenters, masons and sheet metal specialists
- They are currently negotiating with the County for an expansion of the lease on the land where the present shelter exists. The cost of the county for the entire project will be $0
- Request a 10-acre site from the county leased to Hi-Tor to be cleared and prepared for the new animal shelter. This land will be leased to Hi-Tor for 99 years for $1.
- Work with Houndquarters, based out of Plano, TX, to build the new facility. They have set blue prints and the square footage depends on the amount of money raised
- The new building will be built in front of the current building. What is to become of the current building is up to the Hi-Tor Board.
- The current building is 3200 sq. ft and Franchino is looking to have the new building will be a modern facility and be at least 30,000 sq. ft.
- Hi-Tor will still be contracted with the county, but the operation of the new shelter will remain with the not for profit Hi-To Animal Shelter
The new shelter will include:
- Kennels that will be able to house up to 100 dogs of varying sizes (if needed)
- A separate area to house up to 80 cats (if needed). It will be one cat to one cage
- A separate quarantine section for emergency rescue
- Two grooming rooms
- A vet clinic on site
- Employee bathroom/shower facility
- Separate laundry facility
- Adoption center for cats and dogs
- Sound proof building (to address the issue of fireworks at Provident Bank Park—Rockland Boulders Stadium)
- Separate ventilation for kennel and common areas
- A/C and heat
- Adequate parking and walking trails for volunteers
- Separate area to house other animals such as rabbits, gerbils, snakes, etc
- Large reception area
- Donations made directly to Rebuild Hi Tor
- Ability to purchase and sponsor a kennel or cat kennel
- Purchase a brick memorial as part of the walkway and trails—this will be an ongoing fundraiser after the building’s completion
- Purchase/sponsorship of any of the building components—grooming room(s), vet clinic, general reception area, dog adoption center, cat adoption center, etc …
- Fundraising events to support the rebuild effort
- Future golf outing
The first event is an animal art exhibit on July 25 at the Blue Hill Center in Pearl River. A fine art exhibit depicting animals will be hosted by Hi Tor Animal Care Center. Check back with Patch for more information on this event.
How to Help
Thomas Ossa, Rockland Web Design Owner and Rockland Chamber of Commerce organizer, has built a fundraising website for the Rebuild Hi Tor effort.
Send donations to:
Rebuild Hi Tor
PO Box 913, Nanuet, NY 10954
Donation contact number: 845-634-2499
Volunteer for one of these committees:
- Brick Sales
- Public Relations
- Finance and accounting
- Site development