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Harford Humane Society starts fundraising for new building

After more than 50 years in the same building, the Harford County Humane Society is working toward building a new animal shelter.

The organization has been working with the county, which recently approved approximately $6 million for the design and construction of the shelter, according to humane society Board President David Fang.

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Although substantial, the county's contribution leaves a gap in funding for what the shelter needs to "get to the finish line," including hard costs, furnishing, computers and equipment, Fang said Tuesday. Though the humane society shelter is owned and operated by the private not-for-profit organization, it serves as the county's pound, as part of a long standing agreement between the county and the humane society.

The humane society is trying to raise $1.5 million in a planned fundraising program, both to cover the remaining costs and also establish a "rainy day fund," he added.

As part of these efforts, the humane society applied for community investment tax credits through the state's Department of Housing and Community Development and requested support from the county and local municipalities.

During their Monday night meetings, the town of Bel Air and city of Havre de Grace both adopted resolutions supporting the humane society's efforts. The county already passed a resolution and the city of Aberdeen is expected to as well at its upcoming meeting Monday, according to Fang.

The letters of support from the municipalities and county will bolster the humane society's application to the Department of Housing and Community Development, he added.

"It's kind of a way of making sure that the state is in line with the local government entities," Fang said.

The humane society requested $50,000 worth of tax credits, which would go to donors who contribute $500 or more. For example, Fang said for every $1,000 donation, the donor would receive $500 in tax credits against the Maryland income taxes.

The donations would also be tax deductible, he added.

"It helps to jump start the capital campaign, especially with donors," Fang said.

Right now, the humane society is in the formative stages of planning the capital campaign, but needs to submit the funding application before Aug. 31, or it would have had to wait until next year.

"It's a little early, but this is something we had to do," Fang added.

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