Animal Friends Alliance launches capital campaign to build new shelter

Mar 26, 2021 | Member News

Animal Friends Alliance announced the launch of its capital campaign, Bringing Paws Together, to expand and renovate its Taft Hill Campus, 2200 N. Taft Hill Road.  This expansion will add a cat shelter, new central lobby and additional animal care facilities to the Taft Hill Road location, unifying Animal Friends Alliance’s sheltering and adoptions programs and allowing the organization to help more dogs and cats.

The $2.3 million construction and renovation project includes a new 3,900 square foot building that will house Animal Friends Alliance’s new cat shelter, a new Enrichment Center, central lobby and Community Room.  The cat shelter will have 11 colony rooms, allowing for cage-free living for feline residents and more interaction between cats and potential adopters.  The additional community spaces will provide room for public education, special events, and additional training for shelter animals.  The building project will also include renovation of over 4,800 square feet of existing structures at Animal Friends Alliance’s Taft Hill Campus, which will be used for animal care facilities, staff workspaces, and improvements for the existing dog shelter.

“Our new building will allow us to house up to 45% more cats at one time and the addition of the Enrichment Center will enable us to provide essential enrichment and training activities for our dogs, especially in inclement weather,” said Sarah Swanty, executive director of Animal Friends Alliance and co-chair of the Bringing Paws Together campaign.  “On top of that, bringing together our dog and cat shelters will allow us to be more efficient with our resources and provide even better care for the animals in our shelter,” Swanty said.  Julie Piepho, campaign co-chair and Alliance Board Member, added “our united shelter operations will make Animal Friends Alliance a welcoming destination for community members who want to add a furry family member, whether they’re looking for a dog or a cat.”

Animal Friends Alliance will also continue to operate out of its Mulberry Campus, 2321 E. Mulberry St., following the construction of the new shelter.  “Our Mulberry Campus is the current home for our Community Pet Resources programs, including our subsidized spay/neuter and vaccine clinic, our Kibble Supply Pet Food Pantry, and our Community Cat Program.  Moving all adoptions to the Taft Hill Campus will give these vital community programs room to grow as well,” Swanty explained.  “This campaign will be a game changer, not just because we’ll be able to help more homeless dogs and cats, but because we’ll have resources to serve more animals and their families across our growing community.”

Bringing Paws Together has raised nearly $1.5 million toward its $2.3 million goal.  Groundbreaking for the new shelter building is scheduled for August 2021, and construction is expected to conclude in March 2022.  For more information on the campaign, please visit