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Renovation of Animal Rescue League center on track

Posted by L. Kim Tan  August 18, 2011 09:31 AM

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Dedham Temporary Shelter.JPG(from left to right) Senior rescue technician Mark Vogel, assistant shelter manager Beth Finn, and animal care & adoption agents Kate Howland and Dania Tonell
Dedham temporary trailer interior.JPG(from left to right) Dedham Animal Care & Adoption Center assistant manager Beth Finn (holding Shadow), shelter manager Lisa Lagos, and animal care & adoption agents Dania Tonelli and Kate Howland with Buster, who recently found his forever home.




Construction is underway on a $2.7 million renovation of the the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center that, after 26 years, can no longer adequately serve the needs of the animals it helps.

The renovated building and its new, eco-friendly design will be ready early next year. Staff and animals are currently housed in a temporary shelter at the front of the 55 Anna’s Place property.

Under the guidance of ARQ Architects, a leader in humane shelter design, the revamped facility will provide the latest animal welfare and wellness features while offering a more pleasant environment to facilitate pet adoption and allow for a healthy, comfortable, soothing environment for the physical, medical, behavioral, and psychological needs of animals, officials there said.

Equally important, it will incorporate the latest in energy efficiency, sustainability, and green technology.

"This project will truly be an example of what can be accomplished through creative design and renovation of an existing structure for small shelters everywhere that can't afford to do a tear-down but can afford a re-model," said the Dedham shelter’s manager, Lisa Lagos.

"Not only will this create a better environment for the animals in our care, it will provide designated work spaces and holding rooms, which are luxuries we've not had since the initial construction of the shelter in 1985."

ARL of Boston’s board of directors has committed $1.5 million, with the expectation that another $1.2 million will be raised from donors. Since January, $532,000 of that matching amount has been committed by individuals, charitable foundations, and corporations, officials said.

Cats, dogs, small animals, and horses are available for adoption. Other services range from nail trimming for cats and small animals on the last weekend of every month to educational programs for children.

To learn more about the project or to donate to the renovation, contact Melanie Sheffield, director of the President’s Council, at 617-226-5622 or at msheffield@arlboston.org.

Michele Morgan Bolton can be reached at michelebolton@live.com.

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