Help On The Way For Tallahassee Animal Shelter Heating Issue

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Updated By: Andy Alcock

February 12, 2014, 11pm

Help is on the way for the Tallahassee-Leon Community Animal Service Center.

Tonight, the City Commission approved spending $239,000 to fix the heating and air conditioning system.

On Tuesday, the Leon County Commission approved more than $228,000 for the repairs.

Last month, we showed you shivering dogs and space heaters set up at the shelter. The people who worked there were also wearing coats.

We're told the age of the building, pet hair, and moisture from constant cleaning have been contributing factors to the long standing problem.

Wiley the chihuahua mix shivered in his cage at the Tallahassee Leon Community Animal Service center.

The heat is not working properly in the dog adoption area.

On Wednesday morning when were inside, it was about 40 degrees outside.

Inside, with the help of 8 space heaters in the adoption area, the thermostat right above one of those heaters said 53 degrees.

"That is chilly, but that's not a temperature that's too low for the animals to tolerate," said Shelter Veterinarian Rachel Barton.

The animals aren't alone.

The heat isn't working in the reception area either.

Despite a space heater there as well, receptionists were bundled up in winter coats and scarves.

"We have had ongoing issues that we are working to address."

Former board member and long time volunteer Jane Parsons says the heating issue dates back to when the shelter first moved into the building 18 years ago.

A city of Tallahassee spokeswoman says the most recent repairs to the heating system were in 2012.

But she says a permanent solution could cost up to half a million dollars.

"They have to deal with the added humidity from all the cleaning that we do and all the extra pet hair in the environment," said Doctor Barton.

A funding source for the permanent fix hasn't been identified yet.

And there's no timetable for it.

The shelter is using extra blankets to keep the animals warm.

Administrators are also asking for donations of extra bedding, blankets and towels.

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