PRINCETON: SAVE animal shelter readies for relocation to Montgomery Township in September

By Philip Sean Curran, Staff Writer
Local animal shelter SAVE will move to the Skillman section of Montgomery by early September after spending the past 74 years on Herrontown Road, as the much anticipated but delayed relocation finally happens.
SAVE raised $3.5 million to buy and improve land on Route 601 that includes a newly built 10,000-square-foot shelter with a capacity for 100 animals. The administrative offices of the organization will occupy a 19th-century, Italianate-style mansion that needed to be renovated.
SAVE executive director Piper H. Burrows said Tuesday that she expects the shelter to open sometime between Sept. 1 and 15. “We’re beyond excited,” she said in a phone interview.
Before the organization starts anew, SAVE staff and community volunteers will make the transition out of Princeton.
Ms. Burrows said 80 cats and dogs in the current shelter and furniture and other supplies would have to be moved. She anticipates that happening over two days, but she could not give a date yet for when that will begin.
Some minor details need to be ironed out. The organization is waiting for its temporary certificate of occupancy from Montgomery Township, and still needs to complete site work including striping the parking lot of the new facility, planting some grass and passing a couple of inspections, she said.
A major delay in holding up the move has been transferring a deed restriction on the Herrontown Road property to the new location. One of the co-founders of SAVE, the late Cornelia Jayne, had provided the organization with the land in Princeton through a trust she created before her death.
The arrangement stipulated that if SAVE ever went out of business, the property had to be sold and the proceeds given to Cornell University, whose veterinarian school Ms. Jayne graduated from in 1927. That same requirement will be a part of the deed restriction on the property in Skillman.
As SAVE begins to write the next chapter of its history, Ms. Burrows admitted feeling “kind of sad” about leaving Princeton. The organization has been in Princeton since 1941, the year it was started.
Yet the time has come for a new home, Ms. Burrows made clear. She said the current facility is “crumbling,” and more recently, she has had to deal with a water leak.
The organization has worked out a sale of the Herrontown Road property for $800,000 to developer, Charles Yedlin, who intends to raze the three buildings on site and construct a development.