AWL shelter in Vienna taking shape

VIENNA – What months ago was bare cinder blocks and mortar is starting to come to life as construction continues on the new Animal Welfare League shelter.

“We’re plugging away,” Executive Director Kerry Pettit said recently.

The Youngstown Kingsville Road location – site of the old Thunderplex – was anticipated to be open come the end of summer, but a few construction issues have set the date closer to Thanksgiving, Pettit said.

“We’ll be opening up two kennels so we can at least get moved over there,” she said.

Pettit said so far most of the interior walls are up and the dog runs are being constructed off site.

Consisting of 21 acres of property, the shelter will not only have room for more than 250 animals – double that of the old shelter – but also will house a community room, surgical rooms, space for a veterinary technician training program through Kent State University, a library and a store.

Final flooring is still on the to-do list. In the play area Pettit said there will be a cushion-type covering similar to playgrounds for children.

The building was purchased for $550,000 in 2012, with renovations beginning early 2013.

Improvements, construction, furnishings and services bring the total cost to $5.2 million.

The AWL of Trumbull County offers humane investigations, an around-the-clock emergency rescue team and obedience classes, among other services.