Madison County Animal Shelter is having trouble with the heat

Estimated read time 5 min read

Madison County Animal Care and Control shelter is facing backlash due to no air conditioning at its facility. The issue was raised in a county board meeting after employees had to leave early when the AC gave up. It surfaced that there’s never been air conditioning in the dog housing area.


Bad conditions in the Shelter

Alison Lamothe, a Democrat from the 18th District, got five emails questioning the county’s role in this issue which casts doubts on animal welfare. Victor Valentine Jr., a Democrat from the 17th District, shared his disappointment upon learning about this matter.

In order to handle this urgent matter, a member of county board reached out to Sunbelt Rentals which agreed to donate an air conditioner for temporary relief. Meanwhile, county plans to set up another temporary unit for intense heat periods.


A struggle of five years for an AC unit

Despite discussions about installing temporary units last summer, there hasn’t been an official request or budget assigned for air conditioning in dog area since last five years. This has forced dogs into a kennel, cooled only by two large industrial fans.


Need for Foster Homes Increases

Due to this crisis, they require immediate foster homes for 17 dogs. The employees and officers were dismissed early to avoid any health risks caused by heat leaving dogs alone in severe temperatures.

If you wish to become a foster home, you can apply via shelter’s website. Madison County residents have also been urged by shelter officials to contact county board members about finding permanent solution for AC problem. Over last five years though funding for air conditioning has been constantly declined by county administration.


A Reaction from Community

Metro East Humane Society that’s a neighboring facility has been actively participating to resolve this issue. Their Executive Director, Anne Schmidt, mentioned that they are continuously collaborating with the shelter and urging residents via social media to pressurize county board members for resolution.


Temporary measures taken for relief

On Tuesday morning, the county made provisional AC units available to shelter. Sunbelt Rentals’ contribution of a unit for coming few weeks was confirmed by Madison County. The county will then buy a temp unit for usage under extreme heat circumstances.

In an official statement, the county clarified about dog kennels being built more than 30 years ago focusing on proper ventilation. Over past five years, there hasn’t been any official request or budget allocation for air conditioning at this facility. Last summer, talks happened about having temporary units during extreme heat periods.


Noteworthy Topics in Board Meeting

The topic of improving shelter’s air conditioning took centerstage during Tuesday night’s board meeting. Schmidt stressed the need to keep pressing the board even though temporary relief measures had been placed.

Humane Society received over 40 applications until Tuesday morning regarding foster care. They decided to pause new applications till they could process existing ones. The shelter receives 50-70 dogs and many cats every month.


What You Can Do

Fostering, interested people can apply on Metro East Humane Society’s website or call on 618-296-6200 or email on [email protected].

Donations, make donations online or mail them towards Metro East Humane Society at 8495 State Route 1143 Edwardsville IL 62025.

HVAC Services, Donate HVAC services or portable units and get in touch with Animal Control Director Katherine Condor through email [email protected].


Tips for safeguarding Dogs in Excruciating Heat

  • Take dogs on a walk early morning or evening.
  • Conduct 10second test on ground to see if it’s too hot.
  • Use booties for protecting dog’s paws.
  • Monitor temperatures to prevent any heat stroke which can occur at 80 degrees and above.
  • Use cooling vests for dogs.
  • Provide dogs with cold, wet towels so they can lie on them.
  • Apply rubbing alcohol behind dog’s ears, stomach or paws for quick cooling.
  • Offer unflavored pediatric electrolyte solution to keep them hydrated.


Ongoing Measures and Future Plans

With installation of temporary AC unit, Katherine Conder the Director of Madison County Animal Care and Control resolved the immediate crisis. However, she avoided answering about long-term funding struggles and dropped further questions.

Public Relations and Communications Manager Cynthia Ellis later cleared up situation via press release and dismissed some previous reports. She insisted that kennel was built keeping good ventilation in mind and shared that there has been no recent request for air conditioning fund.



The recent crisis at Madison County Animal Care and Control shelter points out immediate need to find a permanent solution ensuring animals’ wellbeing. While provisional measure offered some relief, constant backing from community is necessary to make long-term enhancements. From this experience it can be seen how critical appropriate funding along with planning is to meet both staff members’ as well as animals’ requirements during extreme weather conditions.

Celina Brooks

Celina Brooks from Mussoorie is a Writer & Researcher. She earned her Engineering degree in IT from Rutgers University. She is a technology enthusiast but loves writing and talking about local news as well. She is a jolly person with 2 children.

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