The sounds of dogs and cats echo through the halls of the new Chippewa County Shelter, a construction project that Bob Bowe has been a part of from the start.
"It was pretty hard for a while but now that we've got the new building, everything seems a little bit easier."
Bob admits the fire that destroyed the old shelter was hard to take in.
Soon building director Howard Gibbs took the reigns and led inmates from Stanley Prison and other volunteers in an effort to finish the new building ahead of schedule.
"He was the brains and he had the tools," Bowe said.
"He was up here almost 24-7-365. We put our heart and soul out for that guy," said Shelter Manager Diget Weber.
On April 20th, Bob and his co-workers would again face tragedy. Howard suffered a heart attack, and passed away.
"It was rough right after that, and i couldn't sleep for a couple days," said Bowe.
Bob knew Howard wouldn't want the project to suffer, and they've done all they can to take up the slack ever since.
"We'll get it finished because that's what his dreams were, to see the building finished."
Howard's wife still stops in at the shelter every day bringing lunch and moral support to the folks who work there. They say it helps her too, being in the place where her husband spent her final days.
Now that place is taking shape.
Dozens of animals are now kept inside, and the shelter is expected to be complete by next year.
"We keep on thinking about the memories and things, but we try to keep going."
Though the breaks have been tough ones for Bob and others at the shelter, it seems even some of life's greatest challenges aren't enough to stop them from seeing the project through to the finish.