The Patricia H. Kirwan Center
The HART Animal Center covers 6.5 acres and is the home of the Patricia H Kirwan Center, walking trails and exercise runs. The Kirwan Center contains the Bredel Clinic, the Bed 'n Bark Inn, the Squires Reception Area, MUTTWorks, and the future Chrostowski Adoption Wing.
The HART Animal Center opened to the public on February 25, 2014, just in time for World Spay/Day, held every year by the Humane Society of the United States. The Center began as an idea in 2007 to create a permanent solution for the protection of homeless adoptable animals in Western Maryland. HART for Animals, Inc. was founded in 2003 by Caroline Robison and Candy DeGiovanni to rescue and transport homeless animals to other rescue groups.
The start of a capital campaign in 2007 was a major shift for a small volunteer organization in a small town in the Appalachian hills. A new facility became imperative when it became clear that rescuing and transport would not be enough to save the majority of the animals arriving at the shelter. Out of an average annual intake of 1,300 animals, HART was only able to find rescues and permanent homes to approximately half.
After 8 years of fundraising and the support of hundreds of people, including a Community Facility loan from the USDA's Rural Development, HART had its official grand opening on May 2, 2014, followed by an Open House on May 3, 2014.
HART's Animal Center was designed to be able to produce sufficient revenue to support all the charitable programs: adoption, sheltering, animal training, low-cost pay/neuter surgeries, and public information. The Center consists of two phases: Phase I contains all the revenue generation units: a veterinary clinic, a boarding kennel, and a grooming services. Phase II, to begin in late summer 2014, will have the Adoption & Shelter Wing. This wing will hold 60 dogs, 30 puppies, 40 cats, and multiple litters of kittens, all of which will be available for adoption.
In using this two-phase approach, HART joins many forward-thinking animal welfare organizations that have realized that they must be able to generate their own funds to ensure the survival of their facilities and the animals under their protection.
In July 2014, the HART building was named the Patricia H Kirwan Center in honor of Patty Kirwan, a lifelong supporter of HART and animal protection.