Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

March 23, 2013

HELPING HANDS

Lakeview Animal Sanctuary's new digsnearing completion thanks to volunteers

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Six months after a devastating fire, the Lakeview Animal Sanctuary is getting back on its feet, and a group of dedicated volunteers is making sure that Sandi Pfohl’s rescued creatures have a place to stay.

Dozens of animals were lost in the Sept. 11, 2012 blaze, but a new barn is rising from the ashes. Newfane-based Parco Building Systems erected the structure, but the interior required finishing.

Lockport resident Kenny Allore, along with Bob Graczyk of Pendleton and Robert Mergenhagen of Clarence, were at the sanctuary Friday afternoon, working to complete individual stalls and begin work on the office area. Allore said there was “a pretty big work party” in the building during the morning.

“But they had to get to work,” Allore explained, adding there has been about eight colleagues who donate part of their Fridays to working at the sanctuary. “It’s been every Friday for about a month ... we’ll be here every Friday until it’s done.”

According to Allore, the volunteers work as long as their schedule permits on Friday mornings before they all head off to work.

The group’s members all work with Pfohl’s daughter, Terry Thom, and they all wanted to help Sandi after the fire, Allore said. Graczyk — a member of the Niagara County Rotary — also wanted to help because Pfohl’s done so much for the area, he said.

“I’ve known her for a while,” Graczyk said. “She brings the petting zoo to Olde Sanborn Days every year.”

Allore, whose wife is a veterinarian technician, noted too that the animal welfare community is tight-knit, and they tend to rally when someone from within needs help.

“There’s still a need to be filled,” he added. “This is the slow season (for donations). There’s not a lot of cash coming in but there’s work and the animals have to eat.”

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