AKRON, N.Y. — A senior dog sanctuary is officially coming to Western New York.
White Whiskers Senior Dog Sanctuary was just granted a special use permit Wednesday in Akron and expects to open anywhere from eight to 10 months from now.
The sanctuary will give senior dogs, who typically aren't wanted, a place to live out the rest of their days.
"We can go ahead and create our sanctuary, which is what we have been dying to do forever," founder Polla Milligan said.
Milligan says the Akron planning board unanimously voted to bring the sanctuary to town, while the zoning board approved it four to one.
White Whiskers was originally supposed to be in Wheatfield, but it ultimately got too much pushback from neighbors who were concerned over potential noise issues.
Milligan decided to sell the property and buy an old VFW on Lewis Road in Akron after a volunteer told her about it.
The next step is renovations.
"We need a lot of renovation because I intend to live there. It's an old VFW post so it's not really equipped for someone to live there. But I'm going to live there so we're building an apartment for me, we have to make it wonderful for the dogs, we have to do some of the green space outside, we have to put patios, etc. It's just a wonderful space for us. It's perfect," Milligan said.
While Milligan starts those renovations, she's going to continue to hold fundraisers.
Western New York has helped to raise more than $400,000 for the sanctuary, which will also have programs for kids and veterans to interact with the dogs.
However, due to the amount of renovations the sanctuary needs, Milligan needs to raise $200-300,000 more.
"We're going to do a lot of fundraising, we're going to do a lot of campaigns, we'll do a capital campaign, we'll do whatever it takes to get this place rolling," Milligan said.
If you'd like to help, make a donation on the White Whiskers website.