Thanks to three significant grants from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, it looks like Animalkind, a Hudson-based animal rescue operation, will finally start the process of rebuilding its home at 721 Warren St., which the organization and its animals were forced to vacate in May 2012 after a fire started in the third-floor apartment.
According to Katrin Hecker, founder of the nonprofit, they have been given a new van for transportation and rescue, $140,000 to assist their spay-and-neuter program (which is available to low-income families), and $150,000 to help rebuild the facility’s surgical suite. “We are so grateful to the ASPCA,” she said.
The building was gutted after the fire triggered the building’s sprinkler system and water damaged everything inside. Director Chip Chapin explained to Metroland last December, “The stainless steel cages, the new heating and ventilation system, the office equipment―it was all destroyed. In the vet’s clinic the anesthesia machine, the X-ray, the refrigerator, and surgical areas were totally damaged.”
At the time there were more than 150 cats living at Animalkind, and the animals that were not immediately adopted or placed in foster care were moved to a small office space at 731 Warren St., where they have lived since.
Chapin estimated that Animalkind spayed and neutered 1,780 cats, took in 823 cats, and adopted out 710 in 2012. Hecker hopes that all of the new improvements will help them save and adopt out even more. “We will be able to offer our spay-and-neuter clinic four times a week,” she explained, “and now we can accept dogs, too. The van, the X-ray machine and the surgical suite will bring down costs in the future.”
“We estimated that we would need $150,000 to rebuild,” Hecker said. “But of course during the process we found many other things wrong.” Now, with the new grant money offered, Hecker is determined to raise the rest of the rehab money as quickly as possible.
“We did start construction and hope to launch a fundraising appeal next week,” she said. Animalkind’s initial fundraising program, Gimme Shelter, raised just over half of its goal, according to the website. “There is a new sense of urgency. We really need donated materials or monetary donations to help with the labor costs,” Hecker said. “We don’t know yet how, but hopefully it’s all going to come together.”