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Rayburn animal shelter in desperate need of new wheels

Louis B. Ruediger | Leader Times
Mark Stouffer, owner of Stouffer's Inspection and Repairs, replaces the battery on a 2001 Ford Excursion owned by the Orphans of the Storm on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013.

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Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, 1:51 a.m.

RAYBURN — During this season of giving, folks at a local animal shelter are hoping someone might consider giving the gift of wheels.

A van used by Orphans of the Storm for dog and cat transportation is out of commission and in need of major repairs.

“We can certainly get it fixed,” assistant manager Bethann Galbraith said.

But with costs estimated at $7,000 to fix the 2001 Ford Excursion's engine, a new or used vehicle donation would be preferable, she said.

The no-kill shelter uses the van to haul rescued animals, and to transport them for veterinary care and emergency surgeries. It is normally in use and on the road five days a week, Galbraith said.

The Excursion, which has about 172,000 miles on it, was bequeathed to the shelter by the late John Startzell of Dayton in 2005.

Mark Stouffer, of Stouffer's Inspection and Repair in West Kittanning, said on Tuesday that he replaced the vehicle's battery but the van needs to be taken to a dealership because the engine is leaking oil and the transmission is starting to give out.

“It's 13 years old and has run its course,” Galbraith said.

She said the shelter is seeking help from area dealerships for a possible vehicle donation.

A cargo van with four-wheel or all-wheel drive would be ideal, she said.

To make a donation or for more information, contact Orphans of the Storm at 724-548-4520.

Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or

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