Raccoon River Pet Rescue welcomes visitors to Sunday shower

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Welcoming visitors to Sunday's pet shower were members of the Raccoon River Pet Rescue Board of Directors, from left, Joelle Miner, Sheri Luett, Larry Meachum, Janelle Repp, Jill Brosnahan, Joyce Conklin-VanKirk and Brent Halling.

Heavenly weather blessed Sunday’s open house at the Raccoon River Pet Rescue (RRPR) in Perry, where a donation of pet supplies earned visitors a tour of the sparkling new facility at 14360 Ivy Place in Perry.

A steady stream of well wishers and supporters arrived beginning at 1 p.m., each with gifts for the supply closets. Donors with large items could have them carried from the parking lot to the front door in a gator chauffeured by RRPR board member Sheri Luett.

Tours included a look at the rescue’s 40 “kitty condos” and 15 dog kennels, each complete with a self-contained outside dog run. There are also separate quarters for dog and cat quarantines and a room devoted to overnight drop offs.

The clinical and surgical facilities are state of the art and will provide spay and neuter services once the facility is up and running, perhaps as soon as March. Laundry, bathing and other support services promise to provide a clean and wholesome environment for four-legged residents and two-legged staffers.

The rescue’s administrative apparatus, including its computer system, is still being built, and many details are yet to be finalized, but one can already see the great good the Raccoon River Pet Rescue is poised to do for deserving animals in northern Dallas County.

The $2.25 million project was largely funded by Joyce Conklin VanKirk, who shared with her late husband, Dallas “Pete” VanKirk, a boundless love for animals. Private donations also came from the Raccoon Valley Bank, the Bock Family Foundation and the 100+ People for Perry group.

The Raccoon River Pet Rescue was incorporated in 2018 as a non-profit corporation and annexed into the city of Perry in 2019. A groundbreaking celebration at the new facility was held May 16, 2019.

The RRPR seeks a full-time facility manager, and a sign-up sheet for volunteers was available Sunday for local supporters looking to lend a hand with anything from the animals themselves to maintenance and grounds keeping.

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