Rescuing pets and restoring an old shelter

November 15, 2013 

Nonprofit organizations do remarkable things in our community. Today, we look at a few of their successes and struggles:

We once referred to the Stanislaus County animal shelter on Finch Road, near the Modesto airport, as a slum. After three decades in operation, the facility was overused, overcrowded and thoroughly inadequate for the number of unwanted animals it was housing. Fortunately, the county and five cities developed a partnership and built a new animal shelter that opened in 2011. It’s at 3647 Cornucopia Way, off Crows Landing Road in south Modesto.

Wags and Whiskers Rescue, a relatively young nonprofit, got the keys to the vacant Finch Road facility last summer and is nearly finished with renovations. Several worn-out modular buildings were removed, making the facility about the size that it was during its first years as “the pound.”

Wags and Whiskers will hold an open house Nov. 23, from 2 to 6 p.m., and officially open the next day. In addition to adoptable dogs and cats, the organization plans to offer low-cost training, boarding and assistance to other groups that share in the goal of saving pets from being euthanized.

The new facility is not – we repeat, not – a place for people to take stray or unwanted animals. There’s a sign at the door making that perfectly clear.

But Wags and Whiskers will offer a different kind of service – classes for pets and their owners that might remedy some of the behavior issues that prompt people to dispose of their animals. And it will, like other such groups, rescue animals from the public shelters and provide socialization to make them adoptable. It will be operated as a no-kill shelter. For more information, www.wagsandwhiskersrescue.org or call (209) 613-0958.

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