It’s doggone hot outside.
And with the 100 degree heat advisory this week, Belleville Area Humane Society’s local cats and dogs have been feeling that heat more than usual.
Normally, for the 30 to 40 dogs in the shelter’s kennels, the building’s fans and air conditioning units keep them cool. Friday afternoon however, with temperatures in Belleville reaching 100 degrees, the lack of central air in the building was a concern.
Executive Director Katie Nelson said while their air conditioning is working, they were concerned it wasn’t enough to keep their animals, especially their dogs, comfortable in the heat.
When the metro-east community found out, they didn’t waste a moment.
“We have had an outpouring from the community donating air conditioning units and fans all day,” Nelson said, smiling.
It all started when one volunteer, Sharon Pollman, shared the problem with a local business owner. Karin Tame, who works at Reiniger Jewelers in Swansea, posted on Facebook calling on donations and help for the shelter.
Three hours later, the shelter had received six air conditioning units, four industrial fans, one portable air conditioning unit and dozens of messages of support.
Tame, who was taking calls from people wanting to donate, said she was amazed at the amount of people who called to see how they could help the shelter, which is 100 percent donor funded.
“There was just this outpouring donations and love from people, all of them asking ‘what can I do?’” Tame said.
By the end of the day, five local businesses and dozens of private citizens had reached out to help Belleville’s dogs. The businesses included Collinsville’s Home Depot, Spengler Air Conditioning, Stanley Steemer in Maryland Heights, Stephen Woods Maintenance and O’Fallon’s JD Graham Attorney at Law.
“Our animals are cool and comfortable, and now it’s about 10 degrees cooler in the kennels than it was this morning,” Nelson said. “Their comfort is our highest priority.”