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League Purchases Adjacent Property, Plans Major Expansion
July 05, 2011
On June 30, the Washington Animal Rescue League (the League) purchased a 45,000-square-foot building located next to its facility on the unit block of Oglethorpe Street, NW. The League’s mission has been expanding rapidly as it takes in more animals from disasters around the country and its local partner shelters, and it has now outgrown its current 19,000-square-foot shelter. The League will occupy 25 percent of the new building by the close of 2011. Eventually, with donations from its recently launched Centennial Campaign, the building will become the nation’s first National Rehabilitation Center for Animals.
This Center will include additional space for incoming animals, an expanded veterinary teaching hospital for shelter animals and the pets of low-income area residents, a high-volume spay/neuter center, space for behavioral rehabilitation of animals and dog training classes, room for national seminars in animal welfare, and more.
The existing facility, which is widely regarded as one of the most progressively designed animal shelters in the country, will still be used as the League’s adoption center for dogs and cats.
The League paid a fair market price for the building, which was a working printing business until September 2009.
“The former owners of 15 Oglethorpe Street, NW, were great neighbors and friends of the League,” according to League president and CEO Dr. Gary Weitzman. “They are pleased that the space that once housed their family’s business will be used for such a good cause. We’ll convert it to the nation’s first comprehensive rescue and rehabilitation center for homeless animals who are recovering from physical and mental trauma and abuse. Once we have all the elements in place, we will be able to handle thousands of special needs animals a year: victims of puppy mills, hoarders, and natural disasters; neo-natal orphans; animals from cruelty cases and dog fighting rings…virtually any animals who need special help before they are ready to find their adoptive home or simply have nowhere else to go.”
More information on the National Rehabilitation Center for Animals and the capital campaign will be announced in the coming months.