Rebuild Hi Tor Fundraising Efforts Kicks Off

They are negotiating with the County for 10 acres for the new animal shelter and an expansion of Hi Tor’s lease on the land. The full cost of the new shelter will be fundraised through donations.


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

Fundraising Efforts

  • 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
  • Grants

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:

  • Events
  • Grants
  • Brick Sales
  • Fundraising
  • Public Relations
  • Finance and accounting
  • Site development
  • Construction
Rob Green July 16, 2012 at 02:39 AM
Again Mary, you are just a very negative person. It also be great if you knew what you are talking about, but, you don't. Rockland is one of the wealthiest counties in this nation and can well afford to fund a decent animal shelter, but, since the county politicians seem more interested in wasting our tax money, we will fund it ourselves with donations. Rockland County's unemployement is at 7%, much lower then the national average and 3rd lowest in NY State. Foreclosures in Rockland County are half the national average and concentrated in a few, low income areas. So, keep your negativity to yourself and the rest of us will build this state of the art animal care center for the benefit of our homeless animals.
Mary July 16, 2012 at 09:16 AM
Go for it Rob...but, maybe the people who run the shelter should stop crying when they run out of money. Why do you have to build a "state of the art" facility? Isn't a loving caring environment the most important aspect to a shelter? They don't care what type of facility they're housed in as long as it's clean, they get feed, walked, cared for and loved. It seems that having a "state of the art facility" is more important to the humans running the show.
Chris July 16, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Mr. Green, you took a very negative tone with Mary and the purpose of this discussion area is not to accuse other posters of things such as ":wanting to kill animals". I wish you all a lot of luck in your pursuit of this "state of the art facility" because you are going to need it. I don't believe that Mary is being negative, she is merely being realistic in the current financial climate of the county. If this county was doing so well, then perhaps Spring Valley would still have an Animal Control office position and a contract with Hi-Tor Animal Care Center for services.
Michael Truiano July 16, 2012 at 11:01 PM
It will be realistic if Don Franchino is involved. Don, make sure i'm on your email list. Looking forward to helping.
Chris October 01, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Half of the Board of Directors needs to go. The entire staff needs to be shown the door and if they want to apply for positions there, then they need to prove that they are competnent and skilled. The Executive Director and the Board President have been running the place like their own personal playground. No one really knows what the Shelter Manager does but no one addresses these issues. Hi-Tor is the elephant in the room and throwing money at them will not help. If they are able to get any land, it will be something short of a miracle. I actually feel sorry for all these good hearted people that are volunteering their efforts. It is a lost cause.


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