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MCHS Addresses Community Questions

Released: March 22, 2023


March 22, 2023


Message from the Board:

We recently posted about a significant increase in owner surrenders. While this is unfortunate, it is a common occurrence at facilities across the country. It’s a sad but true statement. We are at maximum capacity in our facility at this time for surrenders. If there is a legitimate reason for the owner to surrender, please email us at and we will place you on a wait list. 


We contract with many towns within Marion County, except Pella, and with the county itself and are required to save space for the animals brought in by local law enforcement. 


Our adoption rates are extremely low and it costs a significant amount of money to feed, care for and medically treat the dozens of dogs we take care of. We have several wonderful dogs that have been with us for over a year.  They are not mean or sick or anything bad.  All they want is a home with people to love them.


In light of a recent post on a Knoxville Facebook group, we’d like to address some questions or assumptions:

Is there an option to expand the MCHS Facilities? 

No. There is not enough space on our lot to build additional fencing or spacing. There are large ditches surrounding the facility.


Can or should we build a new Humane Society?

The current facility cost over $230,000 and was built approximately 15 years ago. It took ~10 years to raise the money to build this facility. 


While it would be more convenient to be located in town, we do not recommend building a new facility, especially in town. It is not feasible in terms of capital, and we would expect there would be several complaints due to dogs barking.


Another important note is that MCHS does not own the land where the facility is housed. We cannot build a fence in the back area. We do have a play yard for the dogs to exercise. 


How can you help? 

If you want to help, please come out and walk dogs. We are open Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM and Saturday from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. 


We are open to volunteers on Mondays and Wednesdays; however, they must be pre-scheduled visits. Please call us at 641-828-7387 to ask about volunteering opportunities. 


We also have a Sunday dog walking group that meets on Sunday afternoons. You’re welcome to join our Facebook group: MCHS Sunday Dog Walking Group. 


Can’t the Humane Society just pay for everything they want?

It costs a lot of money to run the Humane Society. Our board members and volunteers are not paid. They are 100% volunteer-based. 


We do pay our managers and kennel technicians, but it’s not nearly enough for the back-breaking work they do. We’d love to pay them more, but we can’t, especially with adoption rates being so low. 


How else can we help?

Share our Facebook posts. Volunteer to help us. Donate. So many shelters have closed in the last few years due to lack of funding and their low adoption rates. We are doing everything in our power to keep the Marion County Humane Society open; but we need your help. 


Our shelter is extremely clean and we are honest people trying to save animals' lives. We love all of the animals in our facility and only want to help them find their loving, forever home. 

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