Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit raises $35,000 during shelter rally

Photo by Zeinab Najm. Dearborn Animal Shelter volunteer Stacie Diguiseppe (left), and participants Isabelle Groome and Bethany Hawkins play with Grodita, a shelter dog up for adoption, during the Raise the Woof community rally June 21.

Photo by Zeinab Najm. Dearborn Animal Shelter volunteer Stacie Diguiseppe (left), and participants Isabelle Groome and Bethany Hawkins play with Grodita, a shelter dog up for adoption, during the Raise the Woof community rally June 21.

By ZEINAB NAJM
Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — The Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit reached another milestone in its $5.7 million goal for a new animal shelter.

After a donation from the board of directors and money raised during the Raise the Woof community rally June 22, the total exceeds $4.3 million.

A $600,000 donation was given to the shelter after an excess of operating costs, donations from corporate and personal donors and estate gifts were left over.

“We manage our operating costs very well,” Executive Director Elaine Greene said. “Currently, we now have about $1.4 million to raise in order to reach our goal.”

An additional $35,000 was raised from contributions during the community rally at the future shelter location — the former Amtrak station, 16121 Michigan Ave.

The almost 200 attendees were treated to food trucks, lemonade stand, activities, drinks, T-shirts, dog kissing booth and “I Believe” pledge sign table.

During the rally, more than 20 people donated $1,000 each toward the shelter’s goal.

“My husband and I love animals,” Dearborn resident and $1,000 donor Erin Keem said. “We love the people at the shelter and the good work they do to get animals adopted and into a good home.”

For the new Animal Adoption & Education Center, $4 million will be used for construction, $400,000 for the value of the donated land, $400,000 in campaign costs, $400,000 set for allowance for pledge defaults and $500,000 from endowments, totaling $5.7 million.

The 16,000-square-foot center will address the current shelter’s biggest issues including space, animal unit layout, sound installation, water flow and ventilation.

As the shelter continues to raise money, shelter officials are hoping to announce a ground breaking date in October.

“The support from the community and businesses has been great,” Greene said. “A new shelter will provide quality care for thousands of animals to come in the future.”

The Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit began operating the shelter in 1996 in which it has cared for more than 45,000 animals. Currently it nurtures more than 2,000 dogs, cats and other species.

For more information on the new shelter or fundraiser go to dearbornanimals.org.

(Zeinab Najm can be reached at zeinabnajm92@gmail.com.)

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