By Taylor Boyd
A local animal rescue is in need after one of its buildings went up in flames.
The senior center at Hulks Helping Hand Rescue and Sanctuary 501c3, a nonprofit in Meadows of Dan, caught fire on at 3:30 a.m. on April 19. The cause of the fire was determined to be electrical.
No animals were injured.
Liz Whiteley, president, said the organization had not yet completed building the center.
“We still had to install the heat/air conditioner unit. The total cost of the building was $13,652,” she said.
Whiteley was first made aware of the fire after one of her neighbors noticed the building ablaze.
“We had four water hoses and used several fire extinguishers. We had it out within 20 minutes,” she said. Fire crews were not summoned because “we actually didn’t stop to take time to call. We literally ran out in our pajamas to put it out.”
Whiteley said she got the idea to create a senior center six years ago, “after my first trip to a huge kill shelter in North Carolina. I saw so many senior dogs lying on cold concrete dying. I wanted to give them a place to call home for their remaining days,” she said.
Whiteley said the rescue gets asked 2-3 times a week from shelters nationwide to take a senior or hospice dog.
The center was built to house up to 10 small to medium senior or hospice dogs at a time. “We already had cots, beds, blankets, and bowls, along with a TV for the dogs to watch,” she said.
Because of the fire, the four senior dogs scheduled to arrive at the center were unable to come, and since the building was not insured, the agency must start the rebuilding effort from scratch.
A GoFundMe was created to help with fundraising efforts. Those interested in donating can go to https://www.gofundme.com/f/replace-the-dream-the-senior-center?qid=7f6bbc38711ba155682eff2f5d8b184f.
As of April 25, Whiteley said the group raised $5,120 of the $13,652 needed to rebuild the center.
Checks may be mailed to P.O. Box 796 Meadows of Dan Virginia, 24120, or via PayPal to email@example.com.