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Animal Protectors of Allegheny Valley gears up for move to new location next year

Matthew Medsger
| Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017, 7:15 p.m.
The Animal Protectors of Allegheny Valley, already based in New Kensington, will be moving to 730 Church St. in the near future.
Wednesday, Nov 8, 2017.
Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
The Animal Protectors of Allegheny Valley, already based in New Kensington, will be moving to 730 Church St. in the near future. Wednesday, Nov 8, 2017.
Ralph the Animal Protectors of Allegheny mascot dog waves as he leads the shelter's second annual costumec pet parade in New Kensington on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015.
Dan Speicher | For Trib Total Media
Ralph the Animal Protectors of Allegheny mascot dog waves as he leads the shelter's second annual costumec pet parade in New Kensington on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015.

It's not just the cats and dogs finding “forever homes” at New Kensington-based Animal Protectors of Allegheny Valley — it's the organization, itself, too.

The 51-year-old, no-kill shelter will have a new home at 730 Church St., where organizers say they hope to continue serving the animals and people of the Valley for another 50 years.

But the location won't open until at least the end of 2018.

For now, Animal Protectors is inviting supporters to tour the new facility and see the planned improvements from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday.

“These improvements are designed to reduce stress for the animals who are in our care until they find their forever homes. We are building a stronger Animal Protectors that will serve our community for the next 50 years,” said Phyllis Framel, renovation campaign chairwoman.

Framel said the new shelter will offer more indoor and outdoor space for visitors, volunteers, employees — and, of course, for the animals.

Planned facility improvements include medical treatment and isolation areas for sick pets, meet-and-greet areas for potential adopters, a “catio” for cats to enjoy and a large play yard for shelter dogs.

Phases include the addition of an education center, which Framel said will serve as a community resource.

Renovations are expected to begin in the spring, with a projected move-in date by the end of next year. That's provided the shelter doesn't run into too many bureaucratic roadblocks, Framel said.

“People are very happy and very excited about this. We had a crew in to clean the building last Saturday, and the people that came to volunteer were just so excited — everybody is. I think that Animal Protectors, from 51 years of service in the community, has a really big following,” she said.

The new facility, along Church Street and Industrial Boulevard in the city's Parnassus neighborhood, was purchased early last year. Until recently, it was home to a child care center.

Animal Protectors capital campaign member Nicole Pavetti said that now that those tenants have vacated, the renovation work can start.

Pavetti stressed that Saturday's event isn't a grand opening, but rather is being held to show people what the shelter hopes to achieve in the next year.

“It's like a preview of the shelter before it opens — to get people excited and get people involved,” she said.

Renovations to the building will cost upward of $750,000, according to the organization.

So far, a silent fundraising campaign has raised a record-breaking amount of $421,000.

Framel said she hopes that opening up the campaign to the public this Saturday will push things over the top.

Matthew Medsger is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4675, mmedsger@tribweb.com or via Twitter @matthew_medsger.

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