by Robert Kimmel
Dormant for many months, the former Pets Alive Animal Shelter in Elmsford is expected to be home again for some animals before the summer is over, or perhaps before it begins. The Town of Greenburgh has agreed to donate the property to Paws Crossed Animal Rescue, Inc., which has pursued that action for about nine months.
Following a series of meetings and negotiations, a “Donation Agreement” was signed by the town and Paws Crossed last month that is expected to have the property at 100 Warehouse Lane South ceded this month to the animal rescue organization.
“We cannot even begin to tell you how excited we are! As you know, it took us awhile to get to the signing of the Donation Agreement and we understand that the hard work has only just begun,” said Julie Potter, Chairman of Paws Crossed. “We are keeping our ‘paws crossed’ that we will be able to use the kennels and some of the internal hallways soon as we sign the closing papers.
However, if we have to wait until the initial reparing of the building by the engineers, we are hoping to be into the building by this summer.”
Pets Alive turned the vacated building back to Greenburgh early this year after it asserted that it was structurally unsound and repairing it for use would be too costly. Dogs and cats that had remained in the building were transferred months earlier to that organization’s shelter in Middletown, Orange County.
Jennifer Angelucci, President/CEO of Paws Crossed, stated that once the transfer is completed, “the next step will be to get engineers into the building and have them map out a blueprint of the portions that are deemed immediately safe and operational.” She noted that those areas would be used while the damaged areas were being renovated. “Then, through a detailed timeline and a strategic Capital Campaign, life will be rejuvenated back into this damaged structure, one section at a time,” Angelucci explained.
She described the initial activity, “as Chapter One, Moving in and Preparing a Home for the Animals,” as part of a “projected 2-3 year project.”
Potter estimated that the initial number of animals to be sheltered, depending upon the structural conditions, would be “around 50 to 60 dogs and 10 cats. Depending on the final rebuilt structure and layout, we are anticipating eventually being able to accommodate 100 dogs and 100 cats,” she added.
Paws Crossed “will be continuing a thriving foster program and also eventually have rooms and areas for training, grooming, educational programs, a clinic, and more,” Potter said. “We have already been contacted by educational institutions regarding possible partnerships in programming — many individuals, corporations and foundations have reached out to us inquiring how they may become involved, and other local animal organizations have been so generous in offering their assistance.”
Paws Crossed will “continue to establish ties within our community through…events, programming and fundraising,” Potter related.