Animal foundation plans Algonquin location

ALGONQUIN – An animal adoption and animal-assisted therapy center is proposed for a location on Main Street in Algonquin.

The Creme de la Creme Animal Foundation would operate in an existing vacant 1,150-square-foot building at 1325 S. Main St. The building was constructed as a house, but has been used as a home and a business location, according to village documents.

Creme de la Creme founder Lisa Petrongelli, who lives in Barrington, said she expects to be able to open the location in about two months.

"This is something we've been hoping for a long time," Petrongelli said.

Petrongelli is a nurse practitioner as well as a clinical psychologist and had her dissertation in animal-assisted therapy, she said.

The foundation, which needs a special use permit from the village to operate at the location, received positive feedback from Village Board members who are scheduled to vote on the matter at their Tuesday meeting.

"I think this is a great business," Trustee Brian Dianis said. "I hope it does very well."

Creme de la Creme currently operates out of two locations, one in Barrington Hills and one in an unincorporated area near Algonquin. It has grown to a point where it makes sense to have an adoption center, according to a village memo written by senior planner Katie Parkhurst.

Currently, the foundation uses foster homes to house pets. The building would be used to show pets that are available for adoption to potential owners and to conduct animal-assisted therapy. The location would serve as a neutral meeting place if someone came to look to adopt an animal.

Dogs on site would only be at the location for a few hours at a time, Parkhurst said.

"Barking dogs should not be an issue," Parkhurst said.

Only cats and birds would be housed at the proposed Main Street location. There will probably 20 cats housed there, Petrongelli said.

The foundation would have one full-time employee, three part-time employees and 12 to 15 volunteers at the location, according to village documents.

Creme de la Creme is completing a building renovation, which includes fixing leaks, replacing a fence, putting in new flooring, fixing a deck railing and floor boards and adding a ramp. The organization already replaced the roof. Creme de la Creme has spent about $10,000 on materials, Petrongelli said.

Much of the work is being done by Creme de la Creme members.

"It's a real ideal space because it's off Route 31, so it should get some good drive-by traffic so people will know we're there," said Kathy Wiesner, a volunteer with Creme de la Creme.

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