For many years, animals that were caught by Collinsville Animal Control were brought to the cinder-block shelter. This was known as the Collinsville Animal Shelter ("the shed") prior to January, 2008. Inside the shed, there were no windows, only cages. The only light came from gaps in make-shift metal sheeting and blue tarps that covered the "outside" parts of the cages. Animals were given 3-5 days before being euthanized and since most people were unaware of this shed, adoptions were rare. With so few cages available, most animals did not have a chance for survival.
In August, 2004, a group of concerned Collinsville residents formed the Friends of the Collinsville Animal Shelter (F.O.C.A.S). Their objective was to build the first and only no-kill animal shelter to replace the old living quarters for the animals, the lobby for the implementation and enforcement of animal care ordinances, and give our animals a chance to find a loving home.
By August of 2005, F.O.C.A.S. had been given use to the land by the City of Collinsville to build the shelter and by June, 2006, the foundation was being poured. The shell of the building was finished in June, 2007 and by January, 2008, the Ward-Wiseman Animal Haven opened its doors for the first time. Since opening, we have remained at capacity, but have adopted out over 1051 animals (as of 12/18) while maintaining a strict spay/neuter policy. About 80 percent of our staff are volunteers and we are still funded completely by donations and adoption fees.