A stately Victorian home on Oak Street will soon have new residents—and not all of them will be human.
The five-bedroom house at 266 Oak St. will be the new Shelter to Home Pet Adoption Center, a headquarters for the nonprofit group Shelter to Home that began as a grassroots effort in 2005. In 2007, the group gained official nonprofit status. Since then, Shelter to Home has rescued and found homes for more than 1,400 cats and dogs.
The new headquarters is still being renovated, and volunteers are putting in hundreds of hours to restore the house, built in 1874, in a fashion befitting its grace and history.
“We’ve been working very hard on getting it ready,” said Shelley Bawol, president of the group.
She projects a ribbon-cutting and grand opening sometime around the holidays.
The 2,400-square-foot property will provide Shelter to Home with an official place to do business, give it “great visibility within the local community, and more, importantly, it will provide us with the home setting in which to showcase some of our rescued animals,” Bawol said.
The group also will continue to use foster homes as temporary housing for animals rescued from pounds, given any needed veterinary care and then put up for permanent adoption.
“The Pet Adoption Center will serve as a center to educate the community regarding spay/neuter programs, as well as proper animal care,” Bawol said.
Meanwhile, Shelter to Home could use volunteer help to get the house ready to open, and is always in need of volunteers to serve as foster homes for rescued pets. The group pays for all foster home supplies, including food and cat litter, as well as veterinary care.
Services and skills needed to continue restoring the Oak Street house include woodworking, interior design, floor refinishing, painting, plumbing, electrical expertise, landscaping, snow removal, web design and marketing.
Items and materials needed include paint, office equipment, gardening equipment, signs, custom window screens and shop vacuums.
Volunteers and donors will be recognized inside the building on its “Wall of Kindness” and on the group’s website. Donations are tax-deductible, as well.
Looking to adopt a pet?
Shelter to Home conducts an application process to make sure rescued animals go to good, loving permanent homes. Visit the website to learn more, and watch for the grand opening of the 266 Oak St. facility, when you can visit the headquarters in person.
You also can follow the progress of converting the house into an adoption center by checking out the group's blog.