Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

County, Humane Society Plan for New Facilities; Animal Control's New $2 Million Site Will Be on Stratton Road off U.S. 1

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

County, Humane Society Plan for New Facilities; Animal Control's New $2 Million Site Will Be on Stratton Road off U.S. 1

Article excerpt

Byline: lisa miller

Inside the cramped quarters of a decades-old facility, perfection is brewing and conditions are about to be drastically improved for St. Johns County's growing animal shelter population.

St. Johns County Animal Control recently received $2 million from the county to build its own 10,000- to 13,000-square-foot shelter on Stratton Road off U.S. 1 North. Officials say the move will relieve the St. Augustine Humane Society from housing the thousands of animals a year Animal Control catches and improve the overall quality of animal care.

"The Humane Society has served its purpose when it [the county] was a small village" said Paul Studivant, Animal Control supervisor. "But, with the dramatic growth of the county's population, we need more space to grow."

The county has contracted for the past 10 years with the Humane Society, Studivant said, but with numbers creeping past 5,000 animals caught annually, the county needs its own shelter.

They pay the Humane Society about $366,000 a year for the service.

"At this time we're just overcrowded. The Humane Society has done what was asked of it," he said.

Studivant expects to finish the design for the facility next month and construction should be completed in a year. It will have 105 dog kennels, 15 to 30 stray cat kennels, and 25 to 30 adoptable cat kennels.

Animal Control will add nine employees and contract with a veterinarian to perform vaccinations, spay and neuterings on site.

The separate shelter would also allow the office to expand its animal cruelty investigations. Animal Control's total fiscal budget for next year wasn't available at press time.

"We want to help put more animals back in better homes," Studivant said. "We're definitely excited about the new facility, it will take the strain off the Humane Society and allow us to provide a larger service to the community. …

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