Determined to achieve the goal
Determined to achieve the goal
August 12, 2009

The former Humane Society of Durham was completely ruined after a fire in December 2008. Since then the society has purchased a 2.15 acre piece of land in Whitby.

By Katie Strachan
The Oshawa Express

Raising $1.5 million. It may seem like an impossible goal to achieve but those involved with the Humane Society of Durham Region are determined to reach it. After a devastating fire that claimed the lives of about 200 animals in December 2008, and completely destroyed the building, the Humane Society has been operating out of a temporary location, making things difficult at times. But things may soon be looking up for both the employees and the animals. The Humane Society has purchased a piece of land on the southeast corner of Wentworth Street and William Smith Drive off of Taunton Road in Whitby. It is forecasted to be the future
spot of their permanent shelter, dubbed “Phoenix Rising.” They took possession of
the 2.15-acre parcel of land on Canada Day (July 1).

Although the site is large, there are easements along the south and east side that cannot be built upon. That area will be made into a spot where shelter dogs can run and play, states the society. But creating a new shelter to house abused, neglected and unwanted animals does come with a hefty price tag. And the Humane Society of Durham Region is funded entirely by fundraising, donations, memberships and bequeaths. They receive no government assistance. To date, the society has had to pay to have the land initially rezoned, a site plan drawn up by an architect which cost $3,209, and an environmental assessment carried out with a cost of $3,570 to determine the quality of the land. They also had to purchase the land at a cost
of $420,000. So far the shelter has spent more than $450,000 in an effort to rebuild their home. Those purchases have been possible because of investments the Humane Society had and because of donations from companies and people. Currently they are hosting a fundraiser where people or companies can purchase a brick, which will be used in the new shelter once construction begins for.

These bricks costs $100. They need to raise $1.5 million in order for any of the construction to begin. Costs like development charges and construction materials are the reasoning
behind that large sum of money required. The society is hoping companies and people will
donate building supplies and materials to cut back on cost.


The Humane Society chose a Barrie company to do the work. The company has experience in building shelters and built the Midland shelter after it was burned down by a fire, states the society’s website. While operating out of a temporary location at 79 Taunton Rd. West Unit #1 is difficult, those involved with the shelter are optimistic the new home will be worth its weight in gold. But for now, it is just a field scattered with wild flowers. To donate call 905-433-2022 or visit the website at



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