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- About Us
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From Humble Beginnings
In 1924, a group of eight prominent ladies met on the porch of the home of Amy Lyman Phillips in Palm Beach to decide what to do about the ongoing problem of animals left behind by winter visitors returning north. From that informal meeting emerged a league of concerned and dedicated people helping animals.
By 1925, we were incorporated. Makeshift cages of orange crates and pens were fashioned from chicken wire at the abandoned TB hospital. These were the grounds of what is now Palm Beach International Airport. The hurricane of 1928 flattened this modest shelter, but donated funds and volunteer labor helped rebuild it.
Moving to Tamarind Avenue
With the onset of World War II, the U.S. Army Corps of engineers required additional acreage to expand the airfield. Rather than condemn our property, the County traded us a larger parcel at 24th & North Tamarind in West Palm Beach.
The new shelter had a small building with two large runs for male and female dogs, and a communal cat room. The generosity of two individuals allowed for the construction of a building for cats and a cottage. Over time, several other donors stepped forward, affording us a modern kennel building, an annex with large covered runs, a new holding wing and a building for a meeting room.
Spay-Neuter Clinic Opens
As our work continued to expand, we gave up our meeting room when John D. MacArthur gave us money to convert it into a medical clinic, with accommodations for a veterinarian on the second floor. In August 1973, we started a Spay-Neuter Clinic for the shelter’s own animals, and by December of that year these services were expanded to provide low-cost services to owned animals in the community. To date, over 225,000 animals have been sterilized.
Thrift Store for the Animals
With each expansion, more funds were needed for operational expenses. We had yearly tag days, annual Letters of Appeal fund drives, and bake sales. But even with our best efforts, it was a continual struggle. We had occasional rummage sales, so it was a logical progression when we opened a Thrift Store at 1905 South Dixie Highway in 1973. That store supported our programs for more than 40 years, until 2016 when the block in West Palm Beach where it was located was sold.
Moving to Military Trail
For most of our 90+ years of existence we had been so busy taking care of animals, we had not publicized our efforts, but the word was spread by our deeds. Artist Jessie Chardin Stewart, as a tribute to then Executive Director George Hulme, left us a bequest that enabled us to purchase our property on Military Trail. Catherine MacArthur provided the funds to construct our unique double-domed shelter.
The Name Peggy Adams
In 1989, Charles Norton Adams made a generous financial contribution to start our endowment fund in memory of his beloved wife, Peggy Adams, in return for a change in our name to Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League, from Animal Rescue League.
Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League Today
Today, this long-standing organization offers dozens of services to support our life-saving mission. Because the community’s generosity continues to grow, in 2011 we completed construction of our state-of-the-art clinic and adoption center, the Jane and Robert Grace Pavilion, at 3100 N. Military Trail. The Grace Pavilion medical clinic is central to our ability to provide low cost vaccine services and high-volume spay and neuter services to address the pet overpopulation problem in Palm Beach County and help fulfill our ultimate goal that every adoptable animal will have a chance at a life-long loving home.
History in the Making
New Adoption Center
In 2018, we will be launching efforts to raise funds for a new adoption center that will help save even more lives! It will feature twice the number of condos for dogs and cats, with outdoor patios for the animals, as well as group play areas and private meet-and-greet gardens for animals to interact with their future adoptive families.
For information about giving opportunities to the adoption center, please call 561-472-8576.