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Animal shelter gets $3.2M for new site in Salem

SALEM ? Judging by the way the puppies were leaping and tussling, they had already heard the good news.The Northeast Animal Shelter is moving from its longtime location on the southbound side of Highland Avenue to a newer and more spacious building across the road, which was once home to the Kelly Honda dealership.A $3.26 million tax-exempt financing package from MassDevelopment is making possible the shelter’s purchase and renovation of a 13,000-square-foot building at 347 Highland Ave. More space means more animals, and shelter representatives anticipate the new quarters could be operational by early 2008.”Because we rely exclusively on charitable donations, the savings generated through our low-cost financing package played a significant role in our relocation plans,” said Randi Cohen, the shelter’s executive director.Established in 1976, the facility is among the largest no-kill shelters in New England. Since its founding, the shelter has placed more than 90,000 dogs and cats in homes across the state, as well as parts of Rhode Island, Maine and New Hampshire. The shelter receives no local, state or federal funding, and depends solely on contributions to cover its operating budget.In addition to adoption services, the shelter organization sponsors community outreach opportunities, including humane education, spaying or neutering assistance, and senior visitation programs.Once the expansion is complete, the shelter expects to find homes for 1,000 additional animals each year, Cohen said.The shelter is located a 30-minute drive north of Boston and easily accessible to many New England communities. It is open seven days a week for the convenience of would-be pet adopters, as well as to assure abandoned animals have a place to go on any given day.Once a dog or cat arrives at the shelter, the staff begins searching for the perfect match n a family just right to give the pet a suitable home. Since each animal’s care is individualized, the adoption process may involve obedience training, a visit with the local groomer, a special blanket, or a home-cooked diet. All pets are inoculated, wormed, and spayed or neutered at the appropriate age.The shelter, currently at 204 Highland Ave., has developed several programs, including Puppies Across America, Sato Rescue, Greyhound Rescue, Mother Animal Spay, Humane Education, Foster Care, Stray Cat Rescue, and Senior Visitation.Phone inquires are always welcome. To contact the shelter, call (978) 745-9888 during business hours: Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, email the shelter at [email protected] L. Culver, president and chief executive officer at MassDevelopment, said non-profit organizations like the Salem shelter are important contributors to the state’s economy. “MassDevelopment’s tax-exempt bond program allows Massachusetts non-profits to borrow at lower interest rates to enhance facilities and improve services without breaking the budget,” he said.Between fiscal years 2004 and 2006, MassDevelopment financed or managed 589 projects statewide, representing an investment of more than $4 billion. The project included supporting the creation of 5,505 housing units and 23,000 jobs, about half of which are full-time and the remainder construction-related.

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