Shelter Building Preparation in Progress

8/14/2018. Today our guys removed the weeds that have grown in the foundation while we wait for our building to be built in the factory.
The use of this machine has been donated by Ahearn Equipment, Inc.
We are so grateful for their donation!
The rest of the week the guys will be busy installing the floor drains and the floor from Lyons Plumbing and Heating in preparation for our building, built by Morton Buildings, Inc. in Westfield, to be delivered next week.
We need your help still to finish the interior.

Please donate if you can – we have quite a way to go, yet!

Thank you all. With your help we are now in stage 3 of rebuild!
Hoping for a grand opening at the beginning of 2019!




Foundations Poured and Leveled

The foundations were poured and leveled (May 9) – we are starting to see the working shelter in place.

Shelter Rising!

Our shelter is rising from the embers – the forms were put in place today (April 4) to pour the foundations!

Groundbreaking Ceremony

February 22, 2018. The Sweetpea Board and Volunteers have just held the groundbreaking ceremony for the new shelter. The pin has been set and the construction crew are preparing for the foundation to be poured.  There is a saying that it hasn’t happened until you see the photos, so here are the photos!

The Board of Directors celebrating groundbreaking for the new shelter.
The board and officers, left to right: Samantha Clark, Bonnie Courtemanche, Melanie Kenadek, Deborah Young, Richard Clark, Jennifer Parisi, Gabrielle Savage, Kelly Robinson, Mary Clark.
The Building Committee Celebrating Ground Breaking for the new shelter.
The Building Committee, left to right: Mary Clark, Bonnie Courtemanche, Melanie Kenadek, Dick Clark, Tom Savage, Jim Parisi. (Missing is Brian Bowman).
Our younger volunteers celebrate groundbreaking.
Jennifer, Samantha and Dick stand with two of our younger volunteers, Sarena Kenadek and Ashley Hutchings.

Older Rebuilding News

Jan 19 2018: We now have permission to demolish the previous shelter building and demolition has started – here is Dick Clark, our founder and Chairman, surveying the demolition work!
We hope to start construction of our new shelter within a few weeks (depending on snow conditions and weather).

Our Variance and Special Permit were approved at the Zoning Board meeting and we have been granted a Permit to Rebuild our Shelter! 🙂
This photo shows a few Happy Sweetpea Faces – Thank you to all the Volunteers, Neighbors and Paxton residents, supporters and Town Officials, for your support!

The Zoning Board of Appeals voted 5-0 on Oct. 19 to grant a special permit to Sweetpea Friends of Rutland Animals, Inc., to reopen, and voted 4-1 to grant a variance for the setback from the road. The setback variance was required because the existing buildings are too close to the property line, as the building was built before the zoning law was enacted.


💖 SWEETPEA STRONG! We are so thankful to all of you for your ongoing support!


Fire & Rebuild History

For years it has been our ambition to buy or construct a rescue shelter, as the Rutland/Paxton area has no animal rescue shelter. After years of fundraising, we took out a mortgage on a boarding kennels on Pleasant St., on the border of Rutland and Paxton. We took possession in Fall of 2015 and we were renovating the shelter building, when we suffered a disastrous fire on Sunday 11/22/2015, most likely caused by an electrical fault. Our main animal shelter building was destroyed and we lost the lives of many cats and dogs. Six dogs and a cat were recovered and adopted out, after the fire.

We can’t replace the animals who perished in the fire – our lost fur-babies will always be in our hearts and our memories, but we can continue to rescue animals as we move on and rebuild.  The response to our disaster has been heartwarming and overwhelming.

Sweetpea would like to thank everyone for their quick support and for their ability to come together as a community in order to help us. We wish to thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for the outpouring of sympathy and practical help that we have received. We have a long way to go, but we will rebuild.