“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein
For several months last year Pets Alive Westchester was closed due to structural deficiencies in the building. The short version is that the building is located on unstable fill on top of wetland, and the ground underneath the building is shifting. Since being allowed back into the building we have looked at every possibility to stabilize the facility, but have been unable to find an option that does not involve investing far more than the aging structure is worth. Additionally the facility is very large, too large for the community it serves, and that size comes with significant operational expense such as five-figure heating bills in the winter. In an environment of declining revenue the Board of Directors has made the difficult decision to close Pets Alive Westchester.
This decision was not made lightly and we know it has very serious consequences. We have spent over a year looking at all of the possibilities, debating, and seeking the input and counsel of experts and have come to the conclusion that this step is necessary for long-term organizational health.
This will not be a fast process; we have left time for an orderly transition. We anticipate taking 60-90 days to wind down the facility. We have an 80-acre sanctuary located in Middletown, NY that has space for the animals that we are not able to adopt out during this transition period. Beginning immediately, both of our facilities will begin “Free Love” Name Your Own Price Adoptions to encourage adoption (with, of course, our same extensive screening as always), and you’ll see some aggressive promotion of animals who have been at Westchester for a long time. We will slowly transfer the remaining animals to our Middletown facility as space opens up. I want to be clear that there will be absolutely no euthanasia due to this move whatsoever – our commitment to our No Kill principles remains steadfast, and as always our policy remains that there is to be no euthanasia for any reason other than the presence of suffering in the face of untreatable illness or injury. We are the same organization that evacuated this building on 24 hours notice last year and found safe harbor for hundreds of animals; we can absolutely do this. Every animal on the property will be provided for.
We recognize the value that this facility has to Westchester County and it is our hope that, post-reorganization, we may return to the area – though not to this building – to serve Westchester County once again.
In the next few days we will publish a dedicated website that will keep everyone informed on the status of the transition and contain a FAQ section to keep the community informed. We want to ensure that our supporters are involved as much as possible and we anticipate involving our dedicated volunteers in these animal transfers to ensure that they are as seamless as possible. Other than that, the most helpful thing to be done at this time is to encourage adoption and to continue to support us through your donations since these animals will still need to be cared for at our Middletown facility..
Thank you all for your support – and if you have questions, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. This will not be easy for any of us. It is incredibly personally painful for me to spearhead the closing of the facility where I was a onetime employee and remain a dedicated volunteer, and I know to even consider the thought is painful to many of you as well. We have every confidence that this will strengthen our operations for the long term and reinforce our commitment to sanctuary, harnessing the opportunity in this difficulty.