Remodel helps growing Princeton animal rescue

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A Princeton, Minn. animal rescue is getting a much-needed remodel that will hopefully help connect more cats and dogs to their forever homes.

Despite being in a rural location, Ruff Start Rescue has exploded in size recently. This year alone they’re going to help more than 2,000 animals find permanent homes. But their growth has been met with challenges.

"When we bought this place, there was only one half of a chain link fence,” said Ruff Start Rescue Executive Director Azure Davis. “We have not been able to do meet and greets, the dogs have to be on leash. And really for those meet and greets we need them to be off-leash."

That’s where the nonprofit Rescue Rebuild came in.

"We like to say, we’re like Habitat for Humanity, but for animals," said Rescue Rebuild Director Zach Baker.

Rescue Rebuild travels all over the country renovating animal shelters, rescues, dog parks and even wildlife sanctuaries. At Ruff Start Rescue, the group is fencing in an outdoor area for dogs and building what’s known as a “cat-io.”

“They had these two rooms inside where the cats were living and they just couldn’t get any fresh air and cats are always inclined to get upper respiratory infections,” said Baker. “Now, they can get that air they need.”

Baker says it’s hard to quantify how much the project would cost if the rescue had hired a contractor. Davis estimates it would have cost double and says it would have taken them years to save up.

"It would have taken us years to get to this point," said Davis. “We are just so grateful.”

Rescue Rebuild has been working on the rescue in Princeton for a week and they plan to have the project wrapped up by the end of the weekend.

Ruff Start Rescue currently has around 350 fosters across Minnesota. The majority of their animals await adoption in temporary homes.