FAIRMONT — A fundraiser for the Marion County Humane Society, aptly named “Raise the Woof,” is aiming to raise $1.5 million.

Organized by restaurant and craft brewery The Rambling Root, the event was aimed at raising funds for the construction of a new animal shelter at the Humane Society site at 2731 Locust Ave. on the way to Monongah. The nonprofit hopes the new shelter will be completed by December 2022.

Construction is expected to begin in May with the demolition of the old facility, which is an original building constructed in 1978.

The new building will grow from just under 3,000 square feet in the old facility to 12,000 square feet. Currently the facility has no insulation so this will be added to the new building. As well as negative air pressure rooms for quarantined animals, according to Marion County Humane Society Board Chair Donna Long.

“It’s going to be very expanded and really state of the art… It’s just going to be 100% better in terms of the facilities,” Long said.

It will also be the first animal shelter in West Virginia to use solar power, which will reduce its monthly expenses in the future. A grant covering 25% of the cost and installation of the solar panels was provided by Solar Holler.

According to Jonna Spatafore, director of the Marion County Humane Society, there will be five cat rooms with outdoor porches and rooms with garage doors and running areas for dogs.

The dog tracks will increase from three feet wide and four and a half feet long to four feet wide and six feet long, with an additional four feet wide and eight feet long on the outside, Spatafore said.

“It’s just, to me, how it should be. If a dog is going to spend time in one, he should be able to get comfortable and everything and have a great time,” Spatafore said.

The Humane Society has been planning this project for five years, but the idea only recently became a possible reality, Spatafore said. Thanks to donations from the estates of five Marion County residents, Fleda Reed Moore, James Lee Garzia, Edgar Ryan, Lena West and Norma Hall, they received enough funds to begin planning.

To kick off the fundraiser, The Humane Society reached out to The Rambling Root, hoping to provide people with information about the build and receive donations.

Rambling Root owner DJ Cassell said he tries to raise money for any local organization that helps animals, as he is an animal lover.

“I hope people will come forward and donate to help pay for our new Humane Society because it’s something close to my heart,” Cassell said.

This Saturday, a dog adoption will take place at Middletown Homes and the Humane Society will host several fundraising and adoption events throughout the summer, Long said. The annual Poker Run will take place on August 20 and the bingo events will take place on September 11 and December 4. Long and Spatafore said there are currently a number of kittens available. For more information, see their website here or call 302-366-5391.

Spatafore said the most rewarding part of his job is seeing people complete their families. They recently had a dog who was adopted after spending a month at the shelter.

“When we got him he was chained to a motorhome roof. That’s how he lived – he had scars all over his face. He was the nicest boy in the whole world. We had someone submit a request to him – they had another dog, they brought him in and he wanted a friend so badly. From the moment they got together, they were just playing and the girl came in and said, I’m going to take him home.

How can this not be your favorite part? said Spatafore.