Puyallup animal shelter may close because of tax bill

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by NATALIE SWABY / KING 5 News

KREM.com

Posted on April 6, 2013 at 2:28 PM

PUYALLUP, Wash. - Sunny Sky's Animal Rescue, a non-profit shelter, is searching for a new home. Dr. Illina Berton opened the no kill shelter in 2010, taking in cats and dogs.

"They stay here until they get their forever home, but they won't be able to be here much longer," said Berton.

The shelter owes more than $33,000 in taxes. The big bill is the result of miscommunication, according to Berton who thought Sunny Sky's would be exempt from paying property taxes because it is a non-profit. However, tax experts told her different.

"She's like, 'yes you do qualify.' Then she called back and said, 'no you don't because the building is ultimately owned by a "for profit" entity," said Berton.

Because a veterinary clinic shares the space where the shelter is located, Sunny Sky's does not get a pass on property taxes.

"The mortgage company found out, said we are in default, and they called in the note," said Berton.

That means the building at 1102 East Main Avenue in Puyallup is now for sale. Berton and her staff are scrambling to find a new home.

"You like to be optimistic and you know the dogs are counting on you. We're basically the only thing standing between them and the streets," said Shelter Director Jessica Mele.

The non-profit is working to find donors so they can move into a new affordable space.

Sunny Sky's Rescue posted this message on their website:

Please, please help us by donate any amount you can afford, we have several fundraisers going trying to raise the money we need. Right now any help that anyone can give us is gratefully accepted and welcomed ... the pets waiting for homes depend on us and we depend on you!!

 

 

 

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