Founded in 2006 by veterinarian Dr. Jessica Braun, the Western Plains Animal Refuge (WPAR) began as a domestic animal shelter and wildlife rehabilitation center in Hays, Kansas. It is one of very few organizations that serves both domestic and wild animals.
WPAR originally operated through Dr. Braun's veterinary clinic, the Animal Health Center. In September of 2011, Dr. Braun closed her practice so she could focus on other career opportunities, but the organization continued under a new board of directors. After struggling to find a location, the organization opened the Kopfman-Petco Foundation Animal Shelter outside of Ellis, Kansas. The building, a converted manufactured home, was helpful for a time, but was always meant to be temporary and not suitable for long-term usage.
In December of 2014, due to difficult circumstances, WPAR transitioned to a home-based system in which domestic animals were fostered and wild animals were rehabilitated at the homes of volunteers. The organization continued using the Kopfman-Petco Foundation Animal Shelter as an office until the spring, but then moved to the Hadley Center in Hays, Kansas. During this time period, the organization began planning and fundraising to build a new facility.
Sadly, after years of struggling, WPAR made the difficult decision to reduce services and postpone plans to build a facility. It is the dream of the organization to resume all services and build a facility, but it will take time and a great deal of support. Until then, the organization will continue rehabilitating wildlife, assisting with spay and neuter programs, and accepting any previously adopted animal who needs to be returned.
PO Box 1427 Hays, Kansas 67601 | 785-259-3675 | email@example.com