VIENNA - The Animal Welfare League of Trumbull County has found a new home for its shelter, which will give them more space to house and care for animals.
Currently in a renovated boarding kennel, the league has purchased a building and land located on Youngstown Kingsville Road in Vienna for $550,000, according to the Trumbull County Recorders Office.
''It's a wonderful thing for us,'' said Barb Busko, president of the Animal Welfare League of Trumbull County. ''The animal problems have increased, and we need more room to do this and it needs to be an appropriate shelter.''
Busko said the new facility will allow them to house up to 250 dogs, cats and small animals. By comparison, the existing location holds about 105 animals, Busko said.
Vienna Township Trustee Heidi Brown is excited that the welfare league is making plans to move into town.
''I'm optimistic. I think it sounds like a good fit, and I think they'll be a good neighbor,'' Brown said. ''I'll be glad to see someone in there and it not be vacant.''
The money to purchase the property came through private donations and foundation grants, and the idea of moving has been on their minds for several years.
''We did a lot of ground work in October of 2007 and then we did a lot of prep and ground work between 2008 and 2009,'' Busko said. ''You have to make sure it's going to be the right move.''
The need for more space, according to Busko, is due to the overpopulation of cats and dogs and people's inability to care for them.
''It's the people who are losing their homes and don't have the funds to keep their animals,'' she said. ''The sadder thing is people aren't spaying and neutering their animals (leading to) the overabundance of puppies and kittens.''
The facility will put the league in a more convenient location, closer to interstates and more accessible.
''It's going to be easy to find. We have a lot of people out of state who come to adopt, and it's going to be so much easier to find,'' Busko said. ''We're going to have 21 acres of land and access to all the major roads and highways. Within 15 to 20 minutes, we can get to most areas of the county.''
The welfare league is planning to hold a press conference regarding the property purchase and the new facility in the near future.