No-kill shelter needs money to stay open

Published 10/12 2012 04:40PM

Updated 10/12 2012 06:19PM

COLFAX -- Some dogs, cats and birds are all on the brink of losing their home and maybe their lives. A no-kill shelter and veterinary clinic is facing foreclosure. The Central Illinois Small Animal Rescue (CISAR) has been serving Central Illinois for ten years. WCIA-3's Erica Quednau finds out why workers are worried.

Employees are afraid if they lose the shelter, they'll lose the animals. CISAR was started by Pat Burr. She opened it after finding out the shelter where she previously worked was euthanizing animals.

It's something she and her husband vowed never to let happen. But if they lose the shelter, it won't be their decision.

Garrie Burr has learned to take the good, "they, I'm getting choked up, just thinking about it. They wrote us a very, very nice letter thanking us for the opportunity. They had to know Buster and to have him be a part of their lives," with the bad.

"We had four kittens in a cardboard box dumped out in the driveway. That happens far too often."

He and his wife have seen more than 10,000 animals come through their shelter.

"We specialize primarily in dogs and cats, but we've had all kinds of animals turned over to us. We rescue things, I guess is the best way to tell you."

Donna Cathey's official title is property manager, but "one day you might find me on the lawnmower and the next you'll find me on the phone raising money for the shelter or coordinating volunteers. So, I, we all do just about anything that needs to get done around here."

One of those things is to save the shelter.

"We could certainly use all kinds of help."

The couple used three loans to make their dream shelter a reality. They've already paid $250,000 to Heartland Bank which took over their finances after their first bank closed. But, they still owe more than $1-million for two other loans.

"Right now, they're at the point that they're kind of threatening to say, 'we're going to take the property away and probably most of your animals are going to be euthanized."

It's an option the Burr's and Cathey aren't even considering.

"When you walk in and you hear them crying and talking and barking and squawking and whatever, it's just like you've walked into a place where they're really glad to see you."

"We're going to do everything we can to keep CISAR open. We're absolutely committed."

An attorney for Heartland Bank says negotiations are ongoing, but in the meantime, CISAR is looking for help.

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