Crystal Lake pet shelter and resale shop find new home

When organizers of On Angels’ Wings discovered mold in the space into which they had planned to relocate their resale shop and pet adoption center, they had to come up with Plan B.

And the new plan, approved last week by the Crystal Lake City Council, is a 14,000-square-foot site at 6500 Route 14, Suite 2D.

In March, the city approved the relocation of the center to 5561 Route 14, but the mold issue was too costly to clean up, said Vanessa Candow, director of development for the charity, which began as a resale shop in Lake Zurich about 12 years ago.

Jeannette Hager, founder and executive director at On Angels’ Wings, said they are “stacked to the gills” at their current location. Hager said she signed the lease on Tuesday and plans to open the new space in August.

The new facility, located in Crystal Lake Plaza, is “significantly larger” allowing for more pets to stay and the resale shop to sell larger items, such as furniture pieces. This will generate more money to support the rescue and adoption operation and keep the pet pantry stocked, Candow said.

The center, which relies heavily on donations, volunteers and grants, currently operates out of a much smaller space at 5186 Route 14, a little over a mile away from what will be its new home. The new location will be double the space.

The resale shop, which sells household items and clothing, helps defray the costs of the adoption center, which takes in mostly dogs and cats rescued from kill shelters. But the shelter also has been known to take in other pets, such as hamsters and birds.

“We take in and rescue and provide veterinary care and forever homes for any pet,” said Candow, of Crystal Lake. “We are the only shelter that will take any pet.”

Candow and Hager said they need volunteers, carpenters, painters, electricians, plumbers and people who do flooring. They also will need help on move-in day.

Craig Ameel of Cary has volunteered at the shelter for about two years as a dog walker and transporter. He has seen the current facility just shrink in size with a loss of storage and, most important, a space for the dogs to play and socialize.

“We rented PODS [as] space just got tighter than it had before,” he said adding that with the new facility they will “just have more space for more animals.”

He praised the work done by the pet rescue.

“Their mission is great,” Ameel said. “They do a wonderful job of making sure animals go to the right house, a great foster network, great place, great people.”

The shelter, which last year adopted out 400 pets, also is in need of pet supplies, such as cat litter, puppy pads and cleaning supplies.

Those interested in volunteering can visit the group’s Facebook page:
On Angels Wings Inc.

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