The old is gone, and the new has come for the Humane Society in Rome. With new leaders and a new vision for the shelter, employees are working long and hard to make it the best it can be. Our Cara Thomas took a tour of the facility to see how much progress they've made.
ROME, N.Y. -- Employees and volunteers at the Humane Society of Rome have spent more than a week cleaning the shelter from top to bottom. And in just this short time, they say it's been a huge transformation.
Kevin Leppert, an employee at the Humane Society Employee, said, "The difference is just amazing. You can come in now, there's a lot better smell, you don't get that hit in the face when you come in."
In the past, the shelter was described as over-crowded and unsanitized. But, now with new management, workers are helping turn this place right side up again.
"From corner to corner, everything, ceiling, floor, everywhere is getting completely scrubbed, sanitized, power washed if it can be power washed," said Sarah Starczewski, Director of Operations.
Leppert added, "Everything is fresh, we painted. Everything is clean and no matter how far down it got, you know, we brought it back up."
The Humane Society's director said workers are putting their all into the project. Showing up around 7:30 a.m. in the morning and not leaving until 6 at night. They began cleaning the cat room last week and have since moved on to the dog kennels. They say the changes aren't just being noticed by the people, but the animals as well.
"You can tell they're relaxed. They sit at the fronts of their cages, they come up and get to play twice a day. Everything is so appropriate for them now," said Starczewski.
And while a lot of progress has been made, workers said there's still more to go. But, their goal is to have the shelter open again within the week.
Leppert said, "I can't wait to see people come in and actually see all the work we've done."
Starczewski said, "It's a great experience to be able to show these guys that with a little bit more knowledge and education and hard work what we can achieve together."
The Humane Society of Rome said they hope this cleanup will attract more people to visit, and in turn adopt an animal or two. In order to solve the over crowding problem, the Humane Society of Rome is currently unable to accept cats that are not strays. They say this is only temporary until they can decrease their numbers and place more cats into good homes.