Humane Society finds home

Published 1:43am Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Humane Society of Escambia County can finally call their facility home — thanks to the approval of the Escambia County Commission to purchase the building.

Renee Jones, director of HSEC, said the purchase of the building will allow continued growth for the organization and their work.

“We’re glad we won’t have to pay rent anymore,” Jones said. “We are really excited about this and now we can move forward with doing the work of caring for animals.”

Escambia County commissioners approved the purchase of the building Monday and signed the legal documents that put the facility in the permanent ownership of the county.

Commission Chairman David Stokes said the purchase of the building is a way the county can comply with regulations that require animal control in the county.

“This is a way that we can make sure we have a facility and an in-take officer to provide animal control for the citizens of this county,” Stokes said. “The Humane Society will occupy the building kind of like a life-estate situation. If they ever cease to occupy the building, it would simply revert back to the county.”

Stokes said HSEC would continue to be responsible for insurance, maintenance and renovations to the facility at no cost to the county.
With as many as 60 dogs and 45 or so cats, Jones said work can proceed to provide shelter and care for the animals housed at the facility.

“We’ve already done a lot of renovations and have some additional projects we want and need to do,” Jones said. “Our next big project will be a drainage system for the facility.”

HSEC had previously occupied a building on South Boulevard near the Brewton mill of Georgia-Pacific. The group vacated the building in January after Brewton and Atmore city councils elected to take over their own animal control services.

The group found a temporary home at their current location on Hwy. 31 near Flomaton in January — and now it’s home for good. Jones said the Monday purchase of the facility is a blessing.

“We’re glad to have this place and have already put a lot of work into making it home,” Jones said. “We have a lot left to do and are ready to move forward again.”

Some renovations including fences, kennels, porches and interior walls dividing spaces for animals has already been completed with very little labor cost involved, Jones said.

“We had some volunteers with New Beginnings to come out and do some of the work on our renovations here,” Jones said. “I can’t sing their praises enough. They worked hard and did an excellent job on helping with these renovations. We also were able to use some of work release inmates from the Escambia County Detention Center to help with some of our labor here as well.”

Jones said most of the renovations are well underway with some work left to be done.

“We’ve got a few things that we need to finish up with on our renovations,” Jones said. “We’re a long way from where we were, but we still have some work to do.”

Jones said HSEC officials and staff are continuing to encourage pet adoption.

“We have a large number of animals that are looking for homes,” Jones said. “We are still doing adoptions and we are always looking to find good homes for the animals we receive at the shelter.”

Jones said in addition to providing care and shelter for dogs and cats, the facility also has capabilities to shelter larger animals.

“We have a small barn here that we have built two stalls in to shelter horses,” Jones said. “We have a need from time to time to provide shelter for larger animals. With the space we have available on this property, we were able to do that. We didn’t have that capability at our previous location and we’re happy that we can offer that shelter now.”

Jones said donations of food and other pet supplies is still welcome at the facility as well as any donation of time from volunteers.
For information on volunteering, making a donation or pet adoptions, visit the HSEC shelter at 27330 Hwy. 31 near Flomaton or call the facility at 296-BARK (296-2275).

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