NOBLESVILLE - The Humane Society for Hamilton County has launched the public phase of its capital campaign to help address the county's growing pet population. The organization is seeking to raise $12 million to fund a new, state-of-the-art facility and has already reached 80% of its goal through a 10-month quiet phase. In addition to serving as a no-kill shelter, the organization is also an open admission facility, which means it serves as a municipal shelter for the county.

In an interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, Board Chairman Kim Ebert said the organizations wants a facility that is a better reflection of the community.

"Our objective is really to create a state-of-the-art facility that's reflective of the success of Hamilton County and the city of Fishers," said Ebert. "So, as a part of our overall objective, that's what we've had our eye on is not just to go halfway, but to try to really have a national, quality, state-of-the-art facility."

Rebecca Stevens, president and chief executive officer of the Humane Society for Hamilton County, says the organization moved into its current facility in 2006. She says the county-owned property was designed to be more of an animal control facility, which doesn't really match up with the organization's no-kill philosophy.

Hamilton County statistics show more than 60% of households have at least one pet, which is well above the national average. The organization says it has also seen a dramatic increase of surrendered pets over the past four years.

The organization has also announced the name of the new facility as a result of the largest gift it received during the quiet phase of the campaign. When complete, the new building will be known as the Steven J. Cage Foundation Animal Wellness Center.

Stevens says the goal is to break ground in March and move into the facility in the first quarter of 2021.