Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center Opens Doors Saturday

The MARC team has been working non-stop updating the former Custom Design Associates building, 5217 S. 51st Street, in preparation of Saturday’s much-anticipated opening.

Amy Rowell and her staff have been putting in some long hours at the new .

So many hours, in fact, one neighbor popped in Friday morning to see if everything was OK.

“He’s been seeing us stay late and he noticed that last night I didn’t leave,” said Rowell, MARC’s director. “So he came over and checked on me.”

The MARC team has been working non-stop updating the former Custom Design Associates building, 5217 S. 51st Street, in preparation of Saturday’s much-anticipated opening.

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After six years operating out of Southridge Mall in Greendale, Rowell uprooted and replanted in Greenfield. The , but a complication involving the basement – a ceiling that is too low for any of the space to be considered occupied space – kept Rowell and her team from getting down to business.

“For January and February, we were advised not to do any work on the property in case for some reason we had to reverse the sale,” said Rowell, who didn’t start renovating until March. “It’s been 6-8 weeks of non-stop painting, pulling wallpaper, pulling carpet, laying new flooring, putting new walls up, electrical work, landscaping work.”

The hard work has paid off. Rowell and her animals now have a beautiful new facility that includes a caged cat room, a second cat room and an isolation room for sick, injured or nursing cats. In addition there is a meeting room, office space, a kitchen area, an updated bathroom and a front greeting room that will eventually be retail space.

During the renovation process, animals were placed in foster care, but it’s not as if Rowell forgot about them while her thoughts were occupied with picking out paint samples. MARC arranged 20-25 adoptions after leaving Southridge in December, and Rowell even pulled more animals from Animal Control and found them foster families.

“We were thrilled to help out even at a small scale,” she said.

The center will be open fron noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays through May. Beginning June 1, the hours expand to noon to 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays or or by appointment.

And there’s still some work to be done. Sometime this summer, a garage will be converted into a clubhouse, and donor plaques and bricks have be put in place before the tentative grand opening of June 23.

The center, , will have a local feel to it as Rowell partnered with local vendors like , and , among others.

“We’re very excited to be a part of the Greenfield community,” Rowell said. “Our neighbors have been fantastic; they’ve really embraced us and are looking out for us. We definitely feel a part of the community already and we haven’t even opened our doors yet.”

Nicki April 28, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Wouldn't you know, I've got to work today and I've been looking forward to this day for months! It's just good to know that Greenfield cared enough to want Amy and the MARC gang to stay in the area. So happy for all of them and the cats and dogs who will stop by on their way to their forever homes.
greenfieldmom April 28, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Glad they're there. My mom got a cat from them and it made all the difference in BOTH their lives! Thank you!


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