Al-Van Humane Society will be opening the doors to their new Adoption and Community Education Center on April 30th. This, the consummation of a 3 year, $500,000 C.A.R.E.S. (Community and Resources Enhance Shelter) Capital Campaign. Originally a 5 year fundraising plan, the new shelter is ahead of schedule, and will be celebrating their Grand Opening in conjunction with National “Adopt a Shelter Pet Day.” The milestone comes at the perfect time as Al-Van celebrates 50 years of service to its community this year. The capital campaign was supported by over 350 individuals, businesses, grant sources, and anonymous monetary donations. Long time Al-Van supporter Judy Graff stopped by recently to drop off a donation and spend time with the animals (pictured with Lisa Galdikas, Board President, and Opal, one of Al-Van’s longest resident dogs). “Al-Van has always depended on the local support of our community. It is gratifying for me to support God’s creatures in getting the best of care and shelter possible,” stated Graff.
On Saturday, April 28th, in preparation for the grand opening, staff and volunteers will be bringing adoptable cats and dogs from the current shelter at 73303 8th Ave in South Haven, to the new building just around the corner at 07591 Blue Star Hwy. It will take a few days of preparation to acclimate animals and staff to the new surroundings. On Monday, April 30th, the Chamber of Commerce, local politicians, business leaders and community members will take part in the ribbon cutting ceremony at 11am with refreshments to follow. All are welcome.
Formerly known as Blue Star Glass, the new building was purchased by Al-Van in 2015, to support its no-kill mission, adopted in 2012, and increase space to care for more animals. The building itself required a complete renovation in order to provide the necessary care, safety and protection for the animals. The new adoption center is over 6,000 sq. feet, doubling the square footage at the 8th Ave location, and includes 3 cat rooms, an open play cat area, small dog and separate large dog adoption rooms. In addition, the centrally-located community room provides the much-needed space to offer educational opportunities for bite prevention programs, puppy training courses, volunteer training and shelter animal enrichment. Executive Director Jennifer Nuernberg wants the community to understand the impact of this. “This space is something we are lacking at our current shelter. The lobby area is cramped, with only a couple offices lending space for meet and greets or volunteer training. When the weather is bad, our ability to work on enrichment and training for our animals is also very limited. Having a large enough indoor space to do this will have an immediate impact on their adoptability, which is the reason for it all. We cannot wait to increase adoptions, educate our community, and reduce the number of homeless and needy pets!”
With the addition of the new adoption center, the current 8th Ave shelter will be used exclusively for intake and medical isolation of animals until they are physically and emotionally ready for adoption. Anyone needing to surrender their own pet will be asked to call ahead and make an appointment.
Rescued Treasures, Al-Van’s resale shop, will remain at the Blue Star location and takes donations of new or gently used goods (no clothing or large appliances).
About Al-Van Humane Society
Founded in 1968, Al-Van Humane Society (AVHS) is a no-kill non-profit animal welfare organization dedicated to providing emergency food and shelter for homeless pets. It is an independent and private, 501c3 non-profit organization. For information on Al-Van, upcoming events, and ways to donate, visit their website at www.al-van.org.