Humane Society expands facility
SAINT AUGUSTINE – The St. Augustine Humane Society recently completed and opened the non-profit’s expanded facility at 1665 Old Moultrie Road. According to Carolyn Smith, St. Augustine Humane Society’s Executive Director, approximately $300,000 in renovations will help ensure the nonprofit can continue its mission to keep pets out of shelters and in forever homes with responsible pet ownership. The construction project included a new surgery wing for spay and neuter services, charity pet clinic renovations, x-ray and dental equipment, radiography room, along with dog and cat recovery areas, waiting rooms, and an outdoor pet pavilion, among others.
The project has received a Certificate of Occupancy/Completion from St. Johns County, Fla. Government to accept patients. The expansion of 1,400-square-feet will allow the nonprofit to serve more pet owners in need of low-cost surgery and wellness clinic services. Additionally, improvements have been completed at the existing clinic space.
“We are also excited to announce that we are a recipient of the #SpayTogether grant administered by Humane Society of the United States through a collaborative effort. The $4,875 in grant funding will provide 75 dogs and 75 cats with discounted spay/neuter surgeries, giving much-needed help to those who need it most in our community,” said Smith. Residents in St. Johns County who have been impacted by COVID-19 and require financial assistance for their pet’s spay/neuter surgery, call 904-829-2737 or email@example.com.
“Since 2013, the Humane Society has provided an extensive list of pet services and programs for the area’s underserved in just 2,000-square-feet of space. We are now open for business five days a week,” said Smith. “Founded in 1946, we have come a long way. However, the response for care from the community continues to grow,” she said. “We have maintained and grown our capabilities and standards of excellence with new equipment, staff, and physical space. We’re operating at full capacity in the new and existing facility.”
Smith added the non-profit’s pet clinic will be open four days per week with an increase in veterinary services with longtime veterinarian Dr. Lauren Rocky and Dr. Suzy Broadhurst, who has been newly hired at the nonprofit. Annually, the Humane Society provides 2,010 wellness visits; 5,600 vaccinations; 540 microchips; 2200 spay-neuter surgeries; 275 special surgeries; 120 dental procedures, and gives away 22,000 pounds of pet food. With the expansion, Smith estimates the increased capacity in veterinary care will more than triple the number of procedures and pets served throughout St. Johns County.
Fundraisers to support the costs for Humane Society operations and additional expansion materials, medical equipment, and other subcontractors includes the annual Pin Up Paws pet calendar contest with online photo submissions, votes, donations, silent auctions, and calendar sales. The annual Pup Party event also raises funds along with direct donations from donors and fees collected from pet patient owners, grooming salon clients, among others. Volunteers allow for cost savings at the wellness clinic, surgery center, pet food pantry, and resource center, to name a few.
Funds also raised throughout the year permit St. Augustine Humane Society staff to attend continuing education courses and events, plus the annual North American Veterinary Conference in Orlando where the team participates in immersive learning with insights and camaraderie among veterinary professionals across the country and around the world. At this year’s conference, equipment and supplies were procured for the expanded surgery and examination rooms. All efforts support the non-profit’s mission of promoting healthy lifelong pet ownership and reducing the rate of relinquishment to shelters.
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