Wiregrass Pet Rescue and Adoption Center officially underway

Published: Aug. 23, 2022 at 12:45 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Some say Tuesday was a dream come true as a major step was taken toward building the Wiregrass Pet Rescue and Adoption Center (WPRAC). After years of intensive research, planning and development, the dirt is moving where the WPRAC will proudly stand.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday at the new shelter site which is on 52 West just outside of the Ross Clark Circle between Ward Wilson Funeral Home and Eye Surgical Associates.

“It’s so exciting,” Rachel Smith, the executive director, said. “I can’t even put into words how awesome this day has been and the turnout from the community. How awesome is that we didn’t have enough chairs for everyone to sit here today? They had to stand outside of the tent. If that doesn’t tell you how ready this community is for the project, I don’t know what will.”

This center will exist to provide humane care and shelter for lost and abandoned companion animals and to find loving homes for all adoptable pets. This center will ensure all pets find their fur-ever homes.

“We will follow the standards of the current shelter which has above a 90 percent live release rate,” Smith said. “So, to be considered no-kill, that’s the standard is for 90 percent of the animals to leave either by adoption, foster, transport, they’re leaving the shelter alive.”

The center will have a variety of features like “catios,” wooded walking paths, and medical and grooming rooms among other amenities. (LINK TO  full list of amenities: www.wiregrasspets.org )

The next step is to get architecture plans which have already been underway and then start construction.

“It is so heartwarming to see the community members that showed up for us today,” Smith said.

Smith said this center is here to support not only the communities pets, but also here to support the communities members.

“Community members that can’t keep their pets for whatever reason,” Smith said. “Community members that need pet food, medical resources, we are going to be there as not only a support for the community people that live here, however, we are also going to have that humane education piece so we’ll have birthday parties, school programming, summer camps. We’ll have all kinds of classes that will be free to the community and that’s really the goal.”

They are hopeful the center is complete by early 2024.

This 501C3 nonprofit has partnered with the city of Dothan and Houston County, but is still in need of sponsorships. The goal cost for the facility is 8.5 million dollars.

“The faster we can raise those funds, the sooner we can start,” Smith said.

Click here to see how you can donate. (LINK: https://wiregrasspetrescue.org/support/ )

Click here to view the WPRAC Facebook page. (LINK: https://www.facebook.com/wiregrasspetsrescueandadoption )

The board of directors of the WPRAC include the following: Bryan Applefield, president Beth Kenward, vice president Nikki McCord, secretary and treasurer Mark Saliba, Mike Schmitz, Linda Maddox, Brandon Shoupe, David Parsons, Rachel Smith.

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