Wright-Way hopes to have Morton Grove location open by April

Christy Anderson, the director and founder of Wright-Way Rescue, holding a mixed Shepherd/Bullmastiff puppy. | PHOTO BY ALEX V. HERNANDEZ/STAFF REPORTER

Christy Anderson, the director and founder of Wright-Way Rescue, holding a mixed Shepherd/Bullmastiff puppy. | PHOTO BY ALEX V. HERNANDEZ/STAFF REPORTER

Originally appearing at buglenewspapers.com on Sunday, March 23, 2014

By Alex V. Hernandez | Staff Reporter | @TheAVHernandez

Wright-Way Rescue unveiled its new Morton Grove location to the public during an open house last weekend.

The no-kill shelter’s founder says she hopes to have the new site up and running by late April.

“We’re pushing ahead as quickly as possible,” said Christy Anderson, the director and founder of Wright-Way. “So far we have the plumbing and the electrical done.”

The 13,000 square-foot building on the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Mason Avenue still needs to be retrofitted to house a cage-less adoption center, veterinary clinic, community education and outreach center, retail store, administrative space and a grooming facility.

Wright-Way lost the use of the building it leased at 7136 W. Touhy Ave. in Niles after a driver lost control of a school bus and rammed into it.

While no one on the bus or in the building was injured after the crash, Wright-Way’s Niles location was made uninhabitable by the crash.

Since then, Wright-Way Rescue has continued to place adoptable animals in homes using a skeleton staff from its temporary location in Des Plaines while also raising funds to move into a new permanent home.

“I wish that bus thing had never happened,” said Kathy Crann. Her family adopted their two dogs from Wright-Way and she was at the March 22 open house. “But its great the they were able to get this.”

After courting different suburbs, the shelter decided to pursue a location in Morton Grove and had their permits approved by the village board last December.

Back in 2002 Anderson was a student at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. It was around then that Anderson began trying to find homes for animals to keep them from being euthanized.

“I was an animal science major and I rescued the first dogs out of my dorm room,” said Anderson. While in school she had gone to a nearby animal control facility and wound up adopting dogs that were going to be put down.

“They said everything on the right side was being euthanized tomorrow,” said Anderson. “I couldn’t leave without the dogs because they were very adoptable animals.”

She started by adopting one dog at a time and asking people looking for a pet to give the rescued animals a “forever home.”

“Very quickly I started running out of friends and family that wanted to adopt,” said Anderson. “So I started looking for opportunities to advertise the animals. It just grew from there.”

Currently Wright-Way has a reputation of placing more dogs in adoptive “forever homes” than any other no-kill shelter in Illinois using a budget that’s almost 10 percent of similarly sized organizations.

The shelter has a second facility in southern Illinois the visits rural animal control facilities and pulls out adoptable dogs and cats that are at risk of being put to sleep. These animals are then readied for adoption before being transported to Wright-Way’s facilities in northern Illinois.

On average the shelter says it’s been able to save 4,000 animals a year from being put down thanks to their unique adoption program.

Once construction is complete, the new Morton Grove location will be about three times the size of the old Niles location, said Anderson.

To this end Wright-Way is working to raise $1.5 million towards completing renovations and the ongoing care of animals in their facilities.

During the open house the shelter also announced a naming opportunities program for the adoption center.

“We’re trying to have our adopters have a piece of our legacy,” said Lisa Aiken, the shelter’s director of development.

She said donors can have the adoption center, veterinary clinic, volunteer lockers or even the facility’s courtyard named after them.

For more information contact Aiken at 847-400-4836 or lisa.aiken@wright-wayrescue.org.

ahernandez@buglenewspapers.com

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