Twinsburg -- With a permanent home of its own, Pawsibilities, the Humane Society of Greater Akron, looks forward to expanding services for animals in need.
The 45,000-square-foot portion of the building at 7996 Darrow Road in Twinsburg, which Pawsibilities had rented since 2010, was recently purchased from the Summit County Development Finance Authority for $2.25 million Dec. 31. Local supporters donated more than $500,000 toward a down payment.
The remaining 20,000 square feet of the building is occupied by the Twinsburg Township Service Department, which Twinsburg Township purchased this year for $700,000. The facility houses an animal shelter and administrative offices, as well as space leased to Hattie Larlham's Doggie Daycare (within Pawsibilities' 45,000 square feet), a non-profit serving the developmentally disabled.
The Human Society's purchase was structured to enable the non-profit to make affordable payments, save for ongoing building maintenance, and plan for future development of specialized animal adoption areas within the animal shelter, according to Pawsibilities executive director Karen Hackenberry.
With this purchase, Pawsibilities can expand its facilities and better provide for the neglected, abused and abandoned animals of Summit County, said Pawsbilities executive director Karen Hackenberry.
"We've made great progress since we've been in this building; we have a great fenced-in backyard and we have a new medical/surgical suite," Hackenberry said. "Now that we know we're going to be here, we will be moving forward to make additional investments in the building. It just gives us the security of knowing that we have a place so that we can fulfill our mission to make sure that animals have a place."
One additional investment planned for the facility is a reception area for incoming animals, Hackenberry added.
Chris Burnham, president of the DFA, said the transaction was a win-win for everyone.
"The Humane Society's purchase is the best thing that could happen for their organization, the Finance Authority and the citizens of Summit County ... the ongoing relationship with Hattie Larlham is a benefit to both organizations and the services you provide," Burnham said.
Given the organization's established presence in the Twinsburg area, Hackenberry said the purchase was an easy decision.
"From a business perspective, it just makes perfect sense," Hackenberry said. "We love being in this neighborhood. People know we're here, we're visible. This is a growing area, it's a very viable community. We've had more volunteers from the northern Summit County Area step up and go to our volunteer classes and come in and give generously of their time."
Hackenberry said ownership of the headquarters will allow the organization to build on recent gains and successes, adding that the society had adopted out 111 cats and 46 dogs at the end of 2012.
"And we can only do better," Hackenberry said.