Lucy Lou, the pulchritudinous pooch in the ad below, is the Mutt Madness 2019 champion. But when it comes to all things animal, she won’t be the only winner locally.

Washington Area Humane Society is headed toward a major triumph of its own. Within six months, the organization is expected to be in its larger, more comfortable new home – the 10,000-square-foot structure being built behind the current one on the society’s five-acre tract.

It will, in other words, be a more humane Humane Society along Route 136 in North Strabane Township. The new building will have room for 60 dogs and 60 cats, about 10 more of each than the current, cramped, 7,500-square-foot center.

Construction began last fall, is ongoing and is targeted to be completed in late September, with the opening planned for shortly thereafter. At that point, the existing building will be razed.

The possibilities excite Kelly Proudfit, the executive director, who provided a checklist of future amenities. They include “a state-of-the-art surgery/clinic for spay/neuter and vaccination clinic; modern kennels with heated floors; comfortable cat condos; an education room for events and group activities; a complete isolation unit for sick dogs and cats; and meet-and-greet and play yards for animal enrichment.”

This is an expensive venture, and to help pay for it, the Humane Society established a $1.5 million New Home, New Hope capital campaign. Proudfit said an anonymous donor is providing a major boost, matching other donations dollar for dollar up to $50,000. Donations must be in by June 1 to qualify for the match.

As part of that campaign, the Humane Society also will have a donor wall in the Education Room, where for $100, an individual can have a three-inch metal dog tag inscribed to memorialize a family member or pet.

For winning Mutt Madness, Lucy Lou will be getting a purple donor tag – the highest level. That’s nothing to bark at.

And she’s not the only winner in her Avella home. So are John and Patty Post, who have the privilege of owning her.

Business Writer

Rick Shrum joined the Observer-Reporter as a reporter in 2012, after serving as a section editor, sports reporter and copy editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rick has won eight individual writing awards, including two Golden Quills.

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