Animal Rescue League of Boston closes five-year-old Pembroke shelter
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2007:
BOSTON–The Animal Rescue League of Boston announced on
February 28, 2007 that it will close the Pembroke Animal Care &
Adoption Center, only five years after completing it, at cost of $7
Animal Rescue League president Jay Bowen, heading the league
since 40-year president Arthur Slade retired in December 2005, told
news media that the Pembroke shelter has lost more than $1 million a
“The league has more than $100 million in assets and an
endowment of more than $80 million,” despite investment losses of
more than $20 million since 2002, “but Bowen said the Pembroke
shelter has lost money every year,” wrote Syndey Schwartz of the
South-of-Boston Patriot Ledger.
“The organization plans to sell or rent the Pembroke
building, but will keep its adjacent 60-acre nature sanctuary and
dog walk,” Schwartz said.
Animals at the Pembroke shelter who are not adopted will be
transferred to the Animal Rescue League shelters in Boston, Dedham,
and Brewster, Bowen said.
Building the Pembroke shelter was funded by a 1986 bequest of
$2.3 million from the estate of a man named Fred Potter.
The Animal Rescue League spent $687,000 to buy the property
in 1994, including a house used for several years by then-league
operations director Edward Powers. The Animal Rescue League called
the site a “wildlife sanctuary.”
In 1997 the Town of Pembroke revoked the league’s tax
exemption on the property. In 1999 the Massachusetts Appellate Tax
Board board ordered the league to pay back taxes of $10,545.
The Animal Rescue League in August 2006 announced that it was
looking for “developers willing to combine residential units with new
veterinary facilities on the prime real estate the organization owns
at Tremont and Chandler streets,” in Boston, reported Thomas C.
Palmer Jr. of the Boston Globe in August 2006.
“The league and creatures in its custody inhabit a crowded
and outdated facility, built in the 1950s,” Palmer explained. “The
organization hopes to capitalize on residential real estate market,
and let a developer and some new condo owners help finance a modern
facility that it would own, below the private residences.”
So far, no deal has been disclosed.
While the Animal Rescue League prepared to close the Pembroke
shelter, after closing a shelter in Salem in 2003, and cancelling
plans to build a shelter in Ipswich, the Humane Society of the U.S.
on March 17, 2007 broke ground for a new 4.3-acre Cape Wildlife
Center in Cummaquid, Massa-chusetts. The much smaller original
site in West Barnstable, opened in 1995, now handles more than
1,600 wild animals per year.