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Rescue shelter needs to relocate

June 02, 2002|by SARAH MULLIN

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

A Berkeley County animal rescue shelter is looking for a new home so it can continue to save dogs and cats from death and abandonment.

Second Chance Rescue in Pine Ridge Estates subdivision in Inwood, W.Va., has four months to relocate, according to an injunction halting its services handed down by a 23rd District Circuit Court Judge in May.

Circuit Court Judge Christopher Wilkes found the shelter in violation of a homeowner's covenant that prohibits a commercial business in a residential area, said attorney James Crawford of Crawford & Associates, who represents Bert and Annie Napolitano, homeowners who live near the shelter.

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When contacted, the Napolitanos had no comment.

The shelter is run out of the home of Mara Spade, who began the rescue shelter in 1993. The shelter rescues dogs and cats that are in animal shelters or have been abandoned and prepares them for adoption, said Tania Edwards, co-director of the shelter.

While Spade and Edwards claim that the shelter is a non-profit organization, not a commercial business, they are still preparing to relocate.

Volunteers are working to raise the money to buy property that will suit the needs of the shelter.

Edwards said they have raised about $3,500 in the past two weeks. The money has come through donations from former adopters, pet owners who have relinquished their pets to the shelter and from individuals who received one of their 1,800 newsletters in the mail.

Second Chance Rescue began when Spade decided she wanted to rescue Dobermans. The organization branched out from there with the mission of rescuing all dogs from euthanization, Edwards said.

In the past nine years the shelter has saved more than 3,000 dogs and cats. Dogs not adopted because of age or physical disability remain at the shelter to live out their lives, she said.

"Our philosophy is save as many as we can," Edwards said. "You have to give them a death sentence if you can't take them."

There are currently about 30 dogs at the shelter, she said.

The animals receive all necessary shots and any medical treatment needed at the shelter before they are adopted, and the shelter pays for half the cost of spaying or neutering once the animals are adopted.

Edwards said the shelter's veterinary bills can reach $7,000 in one month.

Food is donated from the Petsmart warehouse and Washington County's Humane Society food bank, Edwards said.

The animals are rescued primarily from animal shelters in Jefferson, Taylor, Marion and Monongalia counties in West Virginia.

Volunteers spend Saturdays and Sundays at Petsmart in Hagerstown, Pet Company in Leesburg, Va., and Pet Valu in Winchester, Va., trying to get the animals adopted.

Prices for adoption range from $60 to $150, Edwards said.

The money received from the adoptions and donations support the shelter.

Edwards said she plans to appeal the injunction, but regardless of the outcome, the shelter will relocate.

For more information on the shelter or to make a donation call 304-229-7285.

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