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AnimalSave purchases building in Grass Valley

Debra Sandler, AnimalSave's program director, sits with Luxt, Quinn, and Alfie in the nonprofit's Cat Adoption Room..The organization recently purchased the building they had previously leased at 520 E. Main St. in Grass Valley.
John Hart/jhart@theunion.com | The Union

One of Nevada County’s animal rescue groups will be able to expand services after buying the building out of which it has been operating.

AnimalSave purchased the building it had leased for seven years at 520 E. Main St., Grass Valley, expanding its space from 3,500 square feet to 15,000, said Executive Director Carolyn Niehaus.

The purchase includes nine units and a warehouse to better serve clients and customers, she said.

The Cat Adoption Room, program offices and the low-cost spay/neuter clinic will relocate to other units on the property, which will allow the Thrift and Treasures benefit store, which garners about 20 percent of donations, to expand to both floors.

One of the units will serve as a human education conference room to allow workshops and meetings and provide educational opportunities to the community. A small garden where pets can be memorialized also is planned.

A separate section for a hospice and sanctuary for older cats may also be added, Niehaus said.

“We get calls from people that ‘so and so’ died and left an 18-year-old cat in their house,” she said. “Old cats aren’t usually what people are looking for, so we’re hoping to have a space for those cats.”

The purchase includes a warehouse with bay doors that will house the mobile spay/neuter clinic that was purchased in 2008 for $170,000, and that has been used to alter about 9,700 dogs and cats, an “incredible number,” Niehaus said.

The new space will also provide a reception area for clients while they wait, and better space for the volunteers.

“We will be able to have people not sitting on top of one another, hopping from desk to desk and sharing phones and computers,” said Niehaus.

“We’ll be able to make a lot better use of our talented and generous volunteers.”

AnimalSave first opened in 1999 on Colfax Avenue before it moved to its current location in 2006.

The nonprofit offers spay/neuter services, an adoption and placement program and a supplemental pet food distribution program for low-income families.

About 13 years ago, AnimalSave owned land on Rough and Ready Highway and considered building a new facility there until it was found that the space would be insufficient and the cost would be too high, Niehaus said.

The organization decided that expansion of the already occupied building would be the best course of action.

“We realized we had been renting there for seven years, and it was time to have our own building,” Niehaus said.

“Obviously, with the market and interest rates, there was a small window of opportunity, so I think the time was good for us to make this move.”

Lock Richards, managing director of Sperry Van Ness Highland Commercial, which facilitated the purchase, said AnimalSave received a great deal on the property that was “way below appraised value.”

“It’s going to be a real good thing for them as far as securing their long-term viability as a nonprofit because they’re not going to be subject to rental increases,” Richards said, adding the nonprofit was offered an incredibly low fixed-rate financing opportunity. “They can take advantage of the tax benefits of owning real estate, so they’re going to come out better than if they were leasing.”

The organization is seeking donations and partnerships to help with design, interior construction, plumbing, electrical, flooring, painting, furnishing and landscaping.

“We are just thrilled with this opportunity and looking forward to getting into the remodel work and getting everything moved,” Niehaus said.

For information, visit http://animalsave.org or contact Niehaus at carolyn@animalsave.org or 530-271-7071, ext. 201.

To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email jterman@theunion.com or call 530-477-4230.

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