Animal attraction: Help for Homewood could come from a shelter

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The Animal Rescue League of Western Pennsylvania wants to build a new $15 million facility on a blighted, 4-acre site in Homewood.

When completed, the 40,000-square-foot building will be one of the most advanced animal shelters of its kind. It will also be one of the biggest investments the beleaguered neighborhood has seen in years.

Given the paucity of investment in that corner of Homewood, one would think the project would have universal appeal. Instead, some residents have voiced concerns about noise and odors from the animals.

The rescue league responded to these concerns by saying it would put its offices and meeting rooms along the street to buffer any noise from the shelters in the back of the structure facing the East Busway. Pittsburgh Councilman Ricky Burgess, who represents Homewood, is satisfied by the arrangement and hopes it will attract other businesses.

If all goes well, construction will begin this summer and the building could open in late 2015. The nonprofit needs to raise $15 million for the project, though, which it hopes to achieve with the help of longtime donors and local foundations.

We like the shelter’s chances. With a modern facility that will have two surgical rooms, it will benefit the city’s animal population. With the facelift it will bring to this part of Homewood, it should be a boon to everyone on two legs as well.

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