By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
Renovations are nearly complete on a Yukon animal humane society’s new home.
Target opening date is Jan. 31 for the Pets & People Adoption Center, 9753 N.W. 4th in west Oklahoma City.
The 7,782 square foot building, on the east side of Morgan Road between Reno and N.W. 10th, features a 1,682 square foot office area downstairs and a 6,100 square foot warehouse.
A no-kill humane society and animal rescue, Pets & People is “on the move” after occupying space in the City of Yukon’s animal shelter for nearly 25 years.
“We are so close,” Pets & People Executive Director Amy Young said.
The Pets & People board signed a lease on its future home last fall. Progress has been gradual.
“With all things right now, COVID has taken its toll on the speed of our renovations but we are almost there,” Young said. “Our 1,600 square foot area of adoption rooms, reception area, kitten playroom, cat habitat and foster daycare areas are almost ready.
“In our 6,000 square foot (warehouse) area, we have plumbing and electrical renovations started and 21 kennels are ready to be installed.”
Pets & People board members thanked the City of Yukon for granting them one more month in the old City animal shelter, 701 Inla.
They had spent several months this year searching for an existing building in the Yukon area to lease.
As a non-profit, the humane society relies on donations, grants and fund-raisers to operate.
MORE THAN A MOVE
Pets & People is doing more than moving to a new location with the transition to its adoption center.
“This move is significant because it is the next chapter of our organization,” Young explained. “We’ve been in the same location since the mid-1990s and, as an organization, we have grown and developed. We are excited for this move.”
Plans for the new space have been developed alongside the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture and its field veterinarian.
“We’re not just opening a building,” Young emphasized. “We’re making sure it’s going to be quality.”
Morgan Brand is the new operations manager.
“Our focus is on the highest standard of care for the pets we rescue and strong relationships with adopters and supporters,” Young said.
Pets & People has saved around 58,000 dogs and cats since 1990. More than 1,000 animals were adopted in 2020 alone.
“We are taking all of the best practices in rescue, foster, shelter, and adoption and turning that into reality in our new location,” Young added. “Our organization started in 1990 with volunteers rescuing from municipal shelters. We became a 501c3 (non-profit) with the IRS in 1995.”
Volunteers began in February 1990 with a pet therapy program, organized by Yukon veterinarian James Posey, visiting residents of local long-term care centers.
CHANGE OF PLANS
Pets & People had planned to build a 4,200 square foot adoption/rescue center in 2020 on a three-acre property it owns west of the Yukon animal shelter.
A $500,000 capital campaign was due to launch last spring, but the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting reduction in philanthropic giving impacted fund-raising efforts, Young noted.
Donations and volunteer support dropped dramatically during the shutdown, increasing supply and personnel costs.
The organization’s largest annual fund-raiser, a fall auction, also was postponed in 2020.
Pets & People offers curbside adoptions as prospective owners are pre-screened to ensure their homes will be a “good fit” for the animals.
Regular adoption fees are $135 for dogs and $85 for cats.
All animals are microchipped and spayed/neutered to prevent further pet homelessness. Dogs and cats are heartworm tested and vaccinated before being adopted.
View pets for adoption at www.petsandpeople.com or Pets & People’s Facebook page.