Christmas comes early at Humane Society

Eddie Hahnen, with Carthage HVAC Plus, and Deborah Bell, director of the Carthage Humane Society, stand in the Humane Society’s laundry room next to the water heater that Hahnen donated and installed a few weeks back. John Hacker / The Carthage Press

“Christmas came early,” said Carthage Humane Society Director Deborah Bell.

Thanks to a local business owner, the Carthage animal shelter saved about $1,200 on a repair that was vital to the Society’s mission.

Eddie Hahnen, owner of Carthage HVAC Plus, replaced two hot water heaters, including a larger industrial water heater that services the washing machines used to sterilize towels for the animals,


Hahnen donated the water heaters, and he and his crew also installed them at no cost to the shelter.

Bell said she wasn’t sure where she would have found the extra $1,200, on top of the already considerable costs to care for more than 300 animals every day, to pay the bill.

One after the other

The industrial-sized hot water heater went out first, Bell said.

“We were trying to wash out 13 or 14 loads of towels a day for our animals and we realized there was no hot water,” Bell said. “And you can’t have sterilization of the towels for the cats and dogs without hot water. In my usual sense of panic because I need hot water, I called Eddie. I asked, can it be repaired, but after an inspection we realized that repair was not an option and it needed to be replaced.”

Hahnen and his crew had just finished that job when the live-in caretaker at the Humane Society reported that the residential hot water heater in his home had failed.

It too had to be replaced.

“When I asked for the bill, Eddie said I would like to donate both of those hot water heaters to the Carthage Humane Society,” Bell said. “And I can’t tell you how grateful we are because the total was $1,200 and I’m not sure where we would have gotten that money.”

A special place

Hahnen said his family has dogs buried in the pet cemetery in front of the Humane Society’s office and his family has volunteered at the center in the past during its 70 years of existence.

“Business has been good recently and I have dogs buried outside here, so this place is special to me,” Hahnen said. “We’ve got three, at least, buried in the cemetery. I see the good things they do for the community. I see Jasper Countians as a whole, we’re animal lovers.”

Bell said the Humane Society is blessed to have friends like Hahnen to come to its aid when the need arises.

She said Hahnen has helped in the past with problems with the propane system and other issues and helped at a discount.


  1. Ed Hannen is a great guy! Love this story! He does heat and air for our senior complex. Makes after hours calls, so our residents have heat and air, regardless of the time of day or the weather. More stories about other heroes in our community, please!

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