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Rescue U Makes PURR Its 'Summer Build' Project

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GRAFTON -

A Taylor County animal shelter is getting some help from a nonprofit volunteer program that travels across the country.

Rescue U has been following its progress for years and wants to help the shelter help animals in need.

Rescue U is a lot like Habitat for Humanity, which is a non-profit organization that aims to build affordable housing for those in need.

Rescue U does the same, but for animal shelters.

It is helping People United for Rescue and Rehabilitation (PURR) WV, Inc. renovate and repair its facility as part of its summer project.

"We do about four trips a year," said Bryna Donnelly, Rescue U executive director. "We travel to shelters and basically just rehabilitate them and help them out with work that they just don't have time to do."

PURR saves hundreds of cats every year and Rescue U wanted to give back.

"This is their summer project and they chose us," said Lorna Vincent Venter, executive director of PURR. "It's because of the work we do. They really admire us."

PURR said a lot of work is an understatement.

"We take in cats from all over West Virginia," Venter said.

Sometimes 200 cats at a time.

"We try to help kill shelters lower their kill rates by taking cats and kittens from them. We also answer emergency calls throughout the state," Venter said.

Rescue U is helping the organization with several big projects.

"We're actually going to put a little covering on the walls to make it easier to sanitize, we are ripping up the old tile, fixing a lot of the water damage, making the entrance a little more serviceable," Donnelly said.

Rescue U operates solely on volunteers, a lot of them still in school.

"We're working on ripping up floors. Honestly, we are just working to move a lot of stuff out so we can move more cats in there," Courtney Dickinson, Rescue U volunteer.

PURR said it can't thank the program enough for what it has accomplished in just 10 days.

"It's so amazing. It's like a dream come true to have them come in and take over and complete a project," Venter said. "This way we can have better services for the area."

PURR West Virginia is always looking for volunteers. If you would like to help, call 304-677-6359.