FENNVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — A West Michigan animal shelter is seeking a flurry of donations to try and save their facility after learning their landlord planned to sell the property.
Ashlynn Cluchey, the Director of For the Sake of Being Humane, said she first got wind of a possible sale in late January and was formally notified on Sunday, giving them until March 28 to come to an agreement or risk being evicted.
Cluchey is a family friend of the landlord and says they reached a purchase deal for the property, but if it’s not met by March 28 then the seller could seek other options, leaving the nonprofit scrambling for a home.
“He is working with us a little bit with it, but there’s still that urgency of if we can’t get the down payment or if anything in this plan goes south, we have to do something. And I don’t know what that outcome would look like,” Cluchey told News 8.
She said the deal is to purchase the property for $350,000. The nonprofit’s mortgage advisor said the minimum down payment is $17,500. That’s where the local community comes in.
Cluchey and her small team of volunteers have turned to Fennville and animal lovers across West Michigan to help them stay afloat. So far, the community has responded.
As of Wednesday morning, the nonprofit has raised $13,101. They are taking donations through PayPal, CashApp and Venmo. And for those who are less digitally inclined, you can also mail donations directly to the facility at 2525 68th Street in Fennville (49408).
For the Sake of Being Humane also launched a patreon where people can sign up to be monthly donors. Cluchey said monthly donations go a long way to helping the organization stay steady financially.
“It’s a membership program where people can sign up to donate whatever amount they’d like monthly. That’s going to help us pay our monthly bills. … It’s just going to give us a stable income. That’s something that’s really hard for a nonprofit to come up with,” Cluchey said.
Many times, nonprofits would turn to platforms like GoFundMe or Facebook Donate to help raise money. Unfortunately, those won’t work in this instance.
“We won’t get the funds in time because of the wait period that it takes to deposit those. So that’s kind of out of the question at this point,” she said.
Cluchey launched For the Sake of Being Humane in 2017 and moved into the nonprofit’s 68th Street facility in 2019.
The team is currently caring for 54 dogs, brought in from all across the state, including helping local shelters that have struggled with capacity limits. The shelter is registered with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and is inspected annually.
Cluchey said the nonprofit technically can’t be called a “no-kill” shelter because that label comes from a specific organization and For the Sake of Being Humane hasn’t been certified yet.
“Some (dogs) have only been here a few weeks, but our longest-term resident has been here for four years because she needs such a specific home and family to adopt her,” Cloches said.