NEWBERG, Ore. -- In just about four years, staff at the Newberg Animal Shelter say they’ve adopted out more than 1,200 animals, helping dogs and cats in need.
But now, the shelter needs the community's help.
Rick Lipinski, a Newberg Animal Shelter Friends board member, said the city wants to sell the building so it can put money toward a new communication system. KGW reached out to Newberg city leaders but have not heard back.
“The city would like to sell the building and we would like to buy it,” said Lipinski.
When volunteer and board member Heather Graeber heard the news, she knew there would be a lot of work ahead.
She said her first thought was “we need to do a lot more fundraising." That is exactly what they're doing.
Lipinski said they’ll need about $200,000. If that can't be raised, they may have to renegotiate a new lease. He said right now the shelter only pays $1 a year because it agreed to take over when the city got rid of animal control a handful of years back.
He said regardless of whether they are able to buy the building, or forced to pay higher rent, it will mean more money out of the shelter’s budget.
“We'd be faced with an increased expense, obviously. We'd have to make a higher lease payments every month. We'd probably have to pay for utilities, which the city has been paying for us for the last four years,” Lipinski said.
If more money is going toward things like utilities, building payments, or increased rent, that could mean less money for animals in need.
“An empty cage is an animal that can't get love, care and a new home,” said Graeber.
But there is good news. The Austin family in Newberg has said it will match every dollar raised, up to $100,000.
“We are cautiously optimistic that we can raise money for our goal,” said Lipinski.
“I think we just need to stay positive and hope and pray everything goes well and smoothly,” Graeber said.
There is a fundraiser planned for Saturday. It's sold out. People can still donate on the Newberg Animal Shelter website.
Lipinski said in addition to donations, there is always a need for volunteers as well.