From nothing to something...
Angels for Animals was seeded as a dream in the minds of Polly Wardle and Diane Less. It took root while horseback riding, a mutual love of the two co-founders. With the help of a lawyer, Angels for Animals then officially sprouted and was incorporated in 1990.
From the fertile thoughts of such a mission, education was chosen as the nurturing trunk from which all would branch off and bud. By educating the public and pet owners on responsible guardianship and the importance of spaying and neutering, these two women could change the perception of animals as property to companions and reduce the senseless number killed because of overpopulation.
The two women; Diane, a cat lover and Polly, a dog in a prior life, began the pet project out of their homes and farms running ads to promote spaying and neutering and meeting with vets and other groups. In spite of their efforts, irresponsible humans dumped litters of cats and dogs at their homes. It became so overwhelming that it inspired them to renovate a vacant industrial chicken house into a shelter for the animals rather than house the multitudes at their homes.
The move into the chicken house took place in 1994 and brought with it new interest from the community. Mutual animal advocates began to volunteer and the blossoming effect made the two "angels" realize the situation was much bigger than they were. This inspired the cultivation of a bigger, better shelter.
The chicken house was utilized for six years while adoptions grew and volunteers continued to grow. Great new ideas and programs abounded with education and spay/neuter always priorities.
In search of a new location, an abandoned slaughter house was considered; and, through some scheming, was finally purchased. (The proprietor in charge of selling the property had an aversion to allowing "girls" to purchase the property.) What a motto they envisioned, "From Slaughter to Salvation." However, the old building was not fit to be used and was demolished.
Upon the barren site and 37 acres the planting of a new idea began; a beautiful 2.8 million dollar, 13,500 square foot animal friendly facility. The Angel Place would consist of multiple buildings.
The first building ‘The Lariccia Animal Center', (completed in February of 2002) is the actual animal shelter with a two-story cat tree, play areas for the dogs and a clean warm, inviting atmosphere.
The second building would serve as a location for education and fundraising efforts. Andrews Hall was completed in 2003 and also serves as a rental hall with a complete kitchen for parties, bingo, showers, birthdays, graduations and more. This hall also serves as a great location to hold training classes and seminars for our staff and occasionally the public.
The third building is a small storage building and crematory unit for the end of life care for our former patients. The crematory offers the final stage of animal care for clients and non-clients.
Recently we have completed the Angel Wing, our new veterinary hospital which now handles all of the spay & neuter programs, and provides full service vet care at an affordable rate. Profits from this facility will support running the shelter. The new spay/neuter clinic will offer low-cost spay & neuter programs for customers and shelter animals.
The hope is that the new Angel Wing will become a much needed 24 hour medical service in our community, where all animals can get the help they need. This dream requires additional staffing and volunteers which takes additional funding. If two young ladies can pursue their dream to such a current reality in Angels for Animals, truly anything is possible.