Animal Care Sanctuary Sells Wellsboro Facility | Business

A property that has been serving animals in Tioga County for nearly 75 years is up for sale.

“We are close to a million dollars in losses in Wellsboro,” said Terri McKendry, executive director of Animal Care Sanctuary. “With the number of adoptions and patients in the clinic, we never broke even. We were never able to move forward. When we looked at this and how we can continue to help more dogs and cats, we knew it was the best decision to move everything to East Smithfield.

ACS’s Wellsboro facility at 11765 Route 6, across from Weis Markets, is listed at $499,900 by Penn Oak Realty. The listing reads: “The three-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath home has great potential. Bring your ideas and projects! Plenty of parking.

The 56.47 acre lot includes a house just off Route 6, which housed ACS’s cats and offices. The outbuildings include kennels with the old adoption office, a trailer that served as a veterinary clinic and a small barn. A parking lot is flanked by what was once a public dog park and several miles of nature trails through wooded property.

Although the property was listed just over a week ago, no animals have been housed there for about four weeks, McKendry said. ACS moved cats in April and dogs in November from Wellsboro to East Smithfield.

McKendry confirmed that other staff at the Wellsboro shelter have been terminated. She said they had all been offered positions at East Smithfield, with one accepting.

The veterinary clinic still operates every Tuesday, but will close on December 21. McKendry said anyone in need of services can contact ACS in East Smithfield at 570-596-2200.

McKendry, who became executive director in October 2020, said the Wellsboro site has consistently lost about $100,000 a year.

“As a non-profit organization, you are accountable to your donors. They want to see that you’re not fiscally irresponsible,” she said. “And when you apply for grants, they look at your finances to determine if you will use those funds responsibly. We had to explain these losses.

According to ACS’s IRS Form 990 for 2019, the latest available on its website, the organization’s revenue for that year was $2,381,183, including $1,784,034 in grants and contributions. Total expenses for 2019 were $1,724,096, including $1,094,432 in salaries and benefits, and $629,664 in other expenses (broken down by cattery, kennels, and veterinary expenses). Their total income minus expenses was $657,087, with total assets of $5,816,378.

ACS’s 2018 990 shows revenues of $1,175,416 and expenses of $1,755,700 for a loss of $580,284. McKendry said the audit for fiscal year 2020 had just been completed.

McKendry said East Smithfield and Wellsboro’s financial data is not broken down separately because the two sites must file as one organization.

“Even though we have two locations, we classify as one. We do not have two tax IDs for each location. So you’re not going to see a gaping loss. The loss for Wellsboro is there and we had a loss of balance in East Smithfield,” she said. “We are not a profit machine. We are barely breaking even, like any other not-for-profit organization.

McKendry confirmed that ACS has no current plans to open another facility in Tioga County, but wishes to continue serving the county in other ways.

“We want to continue serving Tioga County. We are not going to reduce the type of services we can still offer,” she said.

One such program involves transporting dogs and cats from the Wellsboro area to veterinary clinics in East Smithfield and vice versa. McKendry said she hopes to ramp up that program after the winter.

She said ACS also wants to partner with schools in Tioga County to provide a humane education, as it does with other schools in the state.

“We would also like to partner with local rescues of all kinds,” added McKendry. “Whether we can bring cats and dogs to East Smithfield if a local rescue is over capacity, or offer services in our clinic, we are prepared to do whatever we can.”

Benjamin M. Yerger