Wiregrass Pet Rescue and Adoption Center is officially underway

DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) – Some say Tuesday was a dream come true as a major milestone was reached toward the construction of the Wiregrass Pet Rescue and Adoption Center (WPRAC). After years of intensive research, planning and development, the dirt is moving to where the WPRAC will stand proud.

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

“It’s so exciting,” said Executive Director Rachel Smith. “I can’t even express how awesome this day and community participation was. Is it great that we don’t have enough chairs for everyone to sit here today? They had to stand outside 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 to lost and abandoned pets and to find loving homes for all adoptable pets. This center will ensure that all pets find their furry home.

“We will follow the standards of the current shelter which has a live release rate over 90%,” Smith said. “So to be considered unkilled, the norm is that 90% of the animals leave either by adoption, or by adoption, or by transport, they leave the shelter alive.”

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

The next step is to get architectural plans already underway and then start construction.

“It’s so heartwarming to see the members of the community who showed up for us today,” Smith said.

Smith said this center is there to not only support community pets, but also to support community members.

“Community members who cannot keep their pets for any reason,” Smith said. “Community members who need pet food, medical resources, we’re going to be there to not only support the community members who live here, but we’re also going to have this piece of humane education so we organize birthday parties, school programming, summer camps. We’ll have all kinds of courses that will be free for the community and that’s really the point.

They hope the center will be completed in early 2024.

This 501C3 nonprofit has partnered with the City of Dothan and Houston County, but still needs sponsorships. The lens cost for the installation is $8.5 million.

“The sooner 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 see the WPRAC Facebook page. (LINK: https://www.facebook.com/wiregrasspetsrescueandadoption)

The WPRAC Board of Directors includes the following people: 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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