Ken Kempkens, the director of the Humane Society of Macomb in Shelby Township, shows the site plan for renovations that will be done to the building and that might begin as early as May.

Ken Kempkens, the director of the Humane Society of Macomb in Shelby Township, shows the site plan for renovations that will be done to the building and that might begin as early as May.

Photo by Donna Agusti

Humane Society of Macomb to undergo expansion

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published February 4, 2019


SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The Humane Society of Macomb, located at 11350 22 Mile Road, will undergo a building expansion and renovation project this year.

The renovation will include a new entrance, more space for adoptions, a new outdoor play area and kennel, moving office space to a different area of the building, a new community room and a new break area.

It is estimated to be a 6,000-square-foot expansion. The facility has 14,000 square feet right now. The shelter’s plans were recently approved by the Shelby Township Planning Commission to move forward.

The renovations will be done by Berent Architecture and Designstruct Inc. The site plan was organized by Fox Property Design and Management.

The expansion will cost $4 million or $5 million, depending on the building needs. The money has been donated by the public over the years.

The Humane Society of Macomb is a no-kill shelter that often has waitlists for animals to be taken in. The Humane Society of Macomb is fully funded by the public.

“We have so many people who want to bring us their animals because we are a no-kill shelter, and it has created a long waiting list for us, and in some cases some people will wait for it (the list), but in some cases we’re not sure what they do with the animal if we can’t take it in,” said Ken Kempkens, the shelter director.

With the renovation, the shelter hopes to make the animals’ lives the best that they can be while in the shelter’s care and increase their chances of getting adopted.

“We want to improve their quality of life and be able to provide them with that (a good life),” said Jackie Klein, the shelter’s marketing assistant.

The dogs currently have to walk past the front entrance to be able to get to certain areas in the building, and the shelter designed the renovation so that they will no longer have to do so.

Kempkens believes that the expansion will help the animals and will offer conveniences they do not currently have.

“It’s definitely going to make an improvement for them, and we won’t have to walk them all over the shelter, and they’re going to be able to go right out because the new kennels we have designed are actually going to be inside-outside, so somebody isn’t going to have to let them outside; they’re going to be able to go through a trap door and go out when they want to. We have a lot of animals here who are already potty trained, so they don’t have to wait for us to be able to go outside,” said Kempkens.

The project will require that the shelter make some sacrifices in order to complete this change.

“We anticipate that we will probably have to take in less animals during that time so that we can give the best care to the animals we do have,” said Kempkens.

During the project, the shelter has reached out and found some safe places that the animals can go off-site so that they do not have to be around while the renovations are going on.

“We have some locations where the animals will stay during the construction process,” said Kempkens.

The shelter expects that the project will begin in May or June.

“We’re anticipating that this will be a one-year project,” Kempkens said.

They are not sure if they will be doing it in phases or all at once, but will do what is best for the animals. They are expecting to be able to double the number of animals that they can take in after the project is complete.

Kempkens said the most useful addition will be a feline area, because the cats will be away from the dogs and they won’t be split up throughout the building. The cat area will be moved to the front of the building so it will be quieter for them.

“It’s all about the animals and what they need,” Klein said.

The Humane Society of Macomb will be offering sponsorship opportunities and a brick wall for memorials where people can buy a brick.

New programs will become available as the shelter grows with this update. The shelter already has a program for those who can’t afford food for their pets in which owners can get food that has been donated by the public.

Overall, the shelter is happy and excited to be able to do such a thing for its animals and the community, which has made it possible.

“I am very pleased with the response we have gotten from the public over the last three years. We were less than stellar prior to this, but we have made a determined effort to try to get this place changed, and this to me is the greatest thing we can do for this community as well as the shelter and for the animals, is to try to get them a better place to live. This will show the animals in a better light,” said Kempkens.

Klein said it will really help to get the animals seen and get people to the shelter to get the animals a better home.

“It’s so exciting. It’s a whole new reality of the shelter and will draw in people,” said Klein. “It’s going to help the animals and help to educate the public.”