Heat Restored to Animal Shelter After Furnace Breaks Down

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BELVIDERE (WIFR) – The heat is back on today at a Fresh Start Animal Shelter in Belvidere after the building’s furnace broke down on one of the coldest days we’ve ever experienced, leaving nearly 80 animals in the cold.

Most of the volunteers have gone home for a nap and a shower after spending the night keeping those pets warm. A new furnace was installed by 12:00 p.m. today and it’s currently a warm and toasty 70 degrees inside the shelter. Last night, volunteers say it got as cold as 39 degrees.

Jenn Hardy was the first person to notice the heat was out yesterday when she got in at 7 a.m. She believes a power outage may have killed the furnace, not a good thing when there’s 40 cats and 30 dogs at the shelter, plus an expectant mom about to give birth to 11 puppies. Hardy and her 14-year-old daughter Hannah spent the night, along with 2 other volunteers doing whatever they could think of to keep the animals warm.

“Throwing towels and blankets in the dryer and putting them in cages, doubling up on cats so they can cuddle to keep warm. We had to put some of the larger dogs in smaller kennels and they were cramped, but at that point do you cramp them, or do you keep them warm,” said Hardy.

Many who helped out donating their time, as well as blankets and heaters, read about this on social media and Facebook. That’s how MP Heating found out and the company donated a new furnace. The rescue is grateful for the community support and the heat that’s on tonight.

The folks from MP Heating also adopted one of the shelter dogs after installing the new furnace.

Fresh Start Animal Rescue: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fresh-Start-Animal-Rescue/258133781843


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