Animal Aid renovations will help more animals


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland is a city full of animal shelters — some big and some small, and one that you maybe have never heard of despite the fact it’s been around for almost 5 decades.

Animal Aid recently finished up a major remodel and they’re looking to grow even bigger.

The shelter converted its downstairs into 2 cat intake areas, an emergency dog kennel, a conference room and storage for pet food and supplies.

Director of operations Paige O’Rourke said, “These 2 cat intake rooms in particular will allow us to take in up to 25% more animals, so gives us a lot more capacity to take in animals and also this was space we weren’t utilizing.”

According to finance manager Julie Toporowski, it can be difficult to do orientations and other work-related activity with furry friends everywhere, which is why the conference room was key.

“Not only the volunteers that I’m training, but often I get distracted with cats jumping on laps, just playing. So great way to utilize space not only for orientations, but focus,” Toporowski said.

While Animal Aid is a smaller shelter, most of its upper level is a free roam area for cats — which can help shier animals.

“We’re entirely free roam for our cats, so that means we can spend a lot of time with them, we can work with shier animals or ones that need one on one attention, so those that aren’t thriving in bigger shelters, we can help them out and help them find the perfect home,” O’Rourke said.

The remodel was needed for this smaller shelter and was in the works for several years. However, it cost a lot — about $300,000, so Animal Aid is now trying to recoup some of those costs and continue to expand through donations and sponsorships.

“We’ve been around since 1969 and I feel like the momentum is just now building and our 50th anniversary is coming up in 2019, so we want to make it a splash,” Toporowski said.

Animal Aid has a Winter Tails photo fundraiser coming up on Dec. 2. You and your pets can get your photo taken with Santa for $25.

For more information about Animal Aid and what they do, check out the shelter’s website.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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