VIENNA - The Animal Welfare League of Trumbull County held an open house Wednesday to show the community plans for their new facility.
The facility is located at the former Thunderplex building in Vienna, offering the league approximately 47,000 square feet of space and more than 20 acres of land on Youngstown Kingsville Road. The league purchased the property for $550,000.
''We're really pleased,'' said Barbara Busko, president of the Animal Welfare League. ''It's been such a long time coming.''
The building requires renovation and is slated to be opened in 2013.
Originally planning to build a new facility in Champion, Busko said that when the opportunity came to buy the old Thunderplex, it was just too good to pass up.
''The board has determined that this option maximizes our resources and provides the best solution for the thousands of animals that we held each year,'' Busko said.
Theshelter is designed to hold 250 cats and kittens, dogs and puppies, and will feature an indoor dog park, a puppy play area, a nursery, private adoption rooms, a heated intake area and a large retail space.
The new facility will have a partnership with the Trumbull Career and Technical Center, offering hands-on training for students looking to pursue a career in the veterinary field, as well as with Kent State University at Trumbull, offering an accredited veterinary technician course.
''We are so thrilled we have the support of these types of people,'' Busko said.
''I want to congratulate this fine organization,'' said Robert Faulkner, representing TCTC. ''I'm just so happy for all of you. How wonderful we're able to take an existing facility and make it into something great.''
Dr. Daniel Parker, assistant dean with Kent State at Trumbull, said, ''We're very excited about this new program. We'll be partners with (the Animal Welfare League) for a long time.''
Busko said she believes that the league is still in need of about $2 million to complete the renovations but has been encouraged by the showing of support that they have received.
''We are so fortunate to have so many loyal supporters,'' she said. ''We continue to rely on these generous individuals and organizations not only to help us move forward with our capital campaign, but also to continue funding the ongoing needs of our current shelter.''
The Animal Welfare League of Trumbull County was established in 1969 and is a nonprofit organization.