Animal Rescue Group Restoring Victorian Home

Shelter to Home will make its new headquarters on Oak Street in Wyandotte.

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.

OneOrdinaryGirl September 06, 2011 at 09:47 PM
Congratulations to Shelley and the entire Shelter to Home organization. My family is so lucky to have adopted two STH kittens three years ago. Franklin and Eleanor (Formerly Isis and Osiris) are important members of our family and provide us all with love, companionship, and lots of laughter. No one can chase a laser light up a wall like Franklin, and Eleanor can leap atop the fridge in a single bound. The evaluation procedures, initial visit, and transfer of our two cats were impressive aspects of the adoption process and fostered sincere faith in this organization. Every day I am thankful for STH because I know we are just one of the many families who have the honor of sharing our homes with loving cats and dogs who would have otherwise died needlessly. Thank you for saving our Franklin and Eleanor, Shelley. We are forever grateful.
Mary Gasiewski September 06, 2011 at 10:52 PM
Yay Shelter To Home! Im super excited for the Grand Opening! I have some left over paint from our house if you girls want to take a look:)
Mary Jane O'Neill September 07, 2011 at 12:17 AM
It's very unfortunate that Ms. Washko feels the way she does about the home being turned into an "animal shelter". I guess she would rather it sit vacant with weeds growing, shingles falling off, paint peeling etc. than to have life in it, repairs being made, improvements being done and all while providing a comfortable, homey atmosphere for families to come to select a new four-legged family member to join THEIR family. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, Ms. Washko, as this is a free country, but I can assure you that I am thrilled that Shelter To Home has acquired this house and will support them to the highest degree possible. As for them not answering the door when you decided to stop in for a look around, did perhaps it occur to you that they didn't hear your knock? The house is in the midst of repairs being made and there may have been equipment being operated at that moment. I suggest you take another walk/ride over there, take a look around at the good work being done at the house, and maybe you will realize that a historical home really is the place for an "animal shelter".
Mary Washko September 07, 2011 at 12:59 AM
Ms. O'Neill, I would have loved to retire and open a bed and breakfast in that home but, unfortunately I didn't receive any grants or volunteers to help me clean it up. Everybody keeps saying bring more business into Wyandotte, I tried. I love all animals and have two dogs. I tried cats but, I'm allergic to them. Yes, I gave up a weekend and volunteered to help out at a yard sale to help benefit WAGS and/or PAWS. As for knocking at the door I knocked long and hard. With that big picture window how could someone miss me walking up and around the house? With five bedrooms will the adoptees be spending the night while deciding which animal to adopt? I just think another building would have been more suitable for your purposes.
OneOrdinaryGirl September 07, 2011 at 03:21 AM
Mary, I wonder what you would have said had they answered your knock? Based on your overall hurt feelings about not getting the house, it's proably best that you had some time to cool off.
Mary Washko September 07, 2011 at 10:43 AM
Ms. OneOrdinaryGirl, would you like to hear the honest truth? I would have asked to look around if they said, "no we're still under construction" or "sure come on in". I would have joked and said, "oh you beat me to this house". Since, as you know I'm really into historical homes and after seeing the house I probably would have volunteered my time and money because the animals would win my heart. I am not such a "bad" person as you think but when I'm sarcastically attacked I will answer back......
Sue Czarnecki September 07, 2011 at 02:36 PM
I am so happy they made this happen - Oak Street is a great location. And I know, from past experience, that this will mean saving the lives of more dogs and cats. Being in the animal rescue business for 23 years now (I am a co-founder of WAG Animal Rescue) I know all about its ups and downs. But when I am feeling especially low, I remember this simple phrase .... To the world, you are just another person - to a rescued animal, you are the world. I wish Shelter to Home only the best !!!
MuttsMom September 07, 2011 at 08:51 PM
Good for them for getting this house! I'll be contacting Shelter to Home to donate my services :)
Barbara Bawol September 07, 2011 at 09:54 PM
Shelter to home is run by people who are "postive". The house is being painted, cleaned and brought up to date by sweat equitiy, love and fund raisers. To some people this might just be a "house" ~ to the animals that their lives have been spared it is a "home". Before they find their forever home. Shelter to Home will have a special place in Wyandotte run by special people. Way to go Shelter to Home and all the workers. The Presidents Mom
Candy September 08, 2011 at 12:00 AM
Ms.Washko, I'm disgusted by your postings and don't want to waste my positive energy on your negatvity. All I have to say is that the home is no longer empty and is full of life, waiting to change lives. Shelter to Home is doing good work. You could put your money where your mouth is and donate.
Mary Washko September 08, 2011 at 01:09 AM
Ms. Candy, did you read all my comments? Maybe YOU should cool off as I was told by Ms. OneOrdinaryGirl! By the way, Ms. Candy how do YOU know I don't donate????? Please put your negative energy somewhere else! I am an animal person and I do not begrudge STH their shelter. Play nice, Ms. Candy.
Susie September 08, 2011 at 04:12 AM
Just curious?? If this is a nonprofit home does that mean the new owners will not pay taxes?
Mary Washko September 08, 2011 at 10:43 AM
See, that was the point I was trying to make. But, these animal lovers got alittle too nasty toward me. As I said I'm happy they got their house. Did STH get grants to purchase or rent that house? Yeah, Susie do they have to pay taxes? Volunteers are helping to restore the house and I'm glad for them. But, as for an ordinary citizen like me would I have gotten the same treatment in trying to open my own business? I think not. I think this was all in the works for a long time while I was inquiring about the house. Watch out Susie you'll get attacked like I did.
Nancy Lange September 08, 2011 at 01:34 PM
I am curious like Susie..will this nonprofit home pay taxes? People wanted our historical homes sold or rented so they would bring in taxes. We are animal lovers,don't want to tell you how many abandon cats we have and found homes for...so we are all for shelters/homes for God's creatures. But will this house contribute any help our city financial problems? A bed and breakfast would have been a taxable business..and I think very nice...Why is this women being attacked? when she wanted only to create another business in Wyandotte and it seems to me has done quite a lot to helping animal causes...
Kalin Turri September 09, 2011 at 12:29 AM
GREAT work to Shelter to Home.. many years of fundraising has made this move possible!
Kalin Turri September 09, 2011 at 12:36 AM
To the questions above, yes, Non-profit organizations that fall under 501c3 code with the IRS do indeed pay property taxes.
Jeffrey Kesterson September 09, 2011 at 01:13 AM
Awesome animal's rule the rest of you are fools!Who need's another dumb bread and breakfest in the wyandotte.
Mary Washko September 09, 2011 at 10:45 AM
Mr. Kesterson: God made different people who have different passions. Mine is a love for Historical Homes and yours is animals. I have and love animals and have adopted. My two dogs are my children. If someone might say "oh tear that historical home down", I would make a comment. But, my comment would not be RUDE and NASTY as some of the comments have been to me. I made the grave error saying I would not support STH and Ms. OneOrdinaryGirl was right, I did need time to cool off and I will support them......as I know you will support our Historical homes.
Mary Washko September 22, 2011 at 11:38 PM
Ladies and Gentlemen, my dream house has never looked better! SHELTER TO HOME at 266 Oak is very lucky to have a home! I stopped by and they didn't throw me off the porch. I will be supporting this wonderful cause. Hopefully, they'll invite me for a tour and I hope to be at the grand opening! Best Wishes!
bonnie rosenuck August 19, 2012 at 04:36 PM
I would love to work with u.love animals to I have many many animals. So I work know how to take care of them. I would love to help u.I also have a daughter that just graturated from high school.so we can both help out. Please call me.really want work with animals.313 704 4286???????
bonnie rosenuck August 19, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Iwould love to work with u 1313 704 4286
bonnie rosenuck August 19, 2012 at 04:44 PM
I would love to come an help out.I love animals to.have some my self.call me 313 704 4286


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