Wright Way Animal Rescue, which rescues dogs and cats slated to be killed and adopts them out to people who want them, may be moving its operation to Lincoln Avenue in Morton Grove.
On Oct. 2, a runaway bus plowed into the front of Wright Way's building on Touhy Avenue in Niles and made it unusable.
As Wright Way head Christy Anderson struggled to keep the weekly adoptions happening, Morton Grove Mayor Dan DiMaria spoke to her about moving to Morton Grove.
Earlier: Bus Crashes Into Animal Shelter, Roof Collapses
Now, Wright Way has a building picked out at 5915 Lincoln, and the Morton Grove Plan Commission approved the plans. On Nov. 25, the Morton Grove Village Board, which must approve or turn down the proposal at a future meeting, discussed it. Some people spoke positively; others had questions or concerns about parking or picking up dog waste as dogs are walked in the area.
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Ron Farkas, Plan Commission chair, told the board Wright Way visits animal shelters in rural Illinois, looks at animals slated to be euthanized, selects those they feel are adoptable, and then monitors their health. Interested people pick out one of the pets on the website, pre-adopt them and then make an appointment to come in to the facility, he said. Only three new pet owners are scheduled every 45 minutes, and the longest time an animal would stay at the facility would be two to three weeks.
"Its’s really a commendable business," Farkas said. "These are unwanted animals with a 100% chance of being euthanized. This facility matches them up with people who want them."
Farkas said his Plan Commission was told dog walkers are fastidious in picking up the fecal waste, which is stored in a dumpster outside the facility. Cages would be ventilated with an ionization process and would be vented to the roof.
At the Plan Commission hearing, one resident complained the parking lot was too small, and another complained the site was too small for the proposed use. But a realtor said it would be a good use for a location which has been vacant five years, and be less of a disruption than an industrial use. He also said Wright Way has an excellent reputation, Farkas recounted.
At the village board meeting, one resident, Alice Gudenfelt, said there were other shelters and this one was not needed.
Anderson went to the podium to speak to trustees, explaining that all of Wright Way's dog walkers carry bags with them to pick up waste, and that they even pick up other dogs' waste in the neighborhood lest someone think it came from a shelter dog.
If someone in a Wright Way t-shirt did not pick up waste, "we would be mortified," she said.
"We do everything by the book."
Trustee Maria Toth asked if Wright Way considered using sound-deadening materials, and Anderson said insulation would cover each kennel. Each also has an air exchange to eliminate smell, she said; and the puppies would be in cageless suites, which would cut down on noise.
During the weekly process of unloading newly-arrived animals, Wright Way's vehicle would pull into the building, an overhead door would close, and the animals would be brought to their enclosures, she described.
Trustee John Thill said to Anderson, "I have a friend who is one of your volunteers-- I can eat off the floor of her house and she says you make her look dirty."
He said he knew that while Wright Way picked up the dogs' solid waste from the street, he would suggest the walkers carry water bottles to pour on the dogs' urine to dilute it.
At an upcoming meeting, likely Dec. 9, trustees must vote on two measures. The first would revise the village's code to permit animals shelters. The second would approve Wright Way to move into this specific facility. Click here for details, and scroll to section 11 F, numbers 3 and 4.