Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Needs of Animals Shaping Design of New Rescue Shelter

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Needs of Animals Shaping Design of New Rescue Shelter

Article excerpt

What a radical idea.

The Safe Animal Shelter, which is under construction in Orange Park, was designed with animals in mind, unlike the current shelter, which was initially built as a town maintenance shed.

"It is a much more modern facility, designed for the comfort of the animals," said Joan Duncan, vice president and shelter manager. "They will have a better situation."

Among the improvements are more dog exercise runs, viewing windows, a cat quarantine area within the building and a specially designed kennel area, she said. The new facility, adjacent the old one, will be only slightly larger than the existing one, which houses 75 animals.

After four years of fund-raising and planning, the people who run the non-profit, no-kill shelter are excited to see the new building finally rising, she said.

"The walls are up and the roof is on," Duncan said. "It feels marvelous. The volunteers have really stuck in there . . . When the building is finished, it will bring us a big sigh of relief."

She is grateful to the public for its support - but said more help is needed. To date, about $110,000 has been raised and about $50,000 spent, with another $25,000 or so necessary to finish the job.

One avenue for public participation is the shelter's annual dinner party and auction, which will be held at 6 p.m. Oct. 23 at the Eagle Harbor Swim Park, south of Orange Park. Tickets are $20 each and are available at the shelter and at the Eagle Harbor sales office.

Outback Steakhouse is donating complete meals for up to 400 people; entertainment will be provided by the Mike Shackleford Trio.

The auction will have about 300 items, with live and silent components.

Among the items awaiting bidders are gift certificates - for restaurants, to have portraits made, play rounds of golf at area courses, have a cocktail party at Jacksonville Kennel Club, among other things - and footballs autographed by Jacksonville Jaguars players, said Lorraine Hadrys, president and auction coordinator. …

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