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Help Florida No-Kill Shelter Stay Open

This is a story we keep hearing over and over again, lack of funds causing shelters around the country to close down. The Humane Society...

Horst Hoefinger  |  May 19th 2009


This is a story we keep hearing over and over again, lack of funds causing shelters around the country to close down. The Humane Society of Northeast Florida is now facing this predicament. Their closing will mean the last no-kill shelter in the area would be gone.

What a horrible tragedy this would be, so many more animals face certain death if this happens. If we all come together and donate even a few dollars we can help keep their doors open.

The nonprofit agency cut hours from five full-time employees last month, causing them to quit. It’s expecting to layoff seven of its remaining 14 employees within 60 days. And unless the shelter sees an immediate surge in donations or adoptions, a permanent close may be imminent, said Kristi Adams, shelter co-supervisor.

“We’re trying to stay open as long as we can to adopt out these animals,” she said. “Right now we’re just grabbing an extra month, and grabbing an extra month, and hopefully a big donation will come in soon.”

If donations to the humane society continue are the current pace, they’re projected to be down $250,000 from the $430,000 yearly budget, Adams said.

The shelter would need to close the gap within six months to remain open.

The only source of funding for the organization is donations, its thrift store and adoption fees.

Adams attributes the financial trouble to an increase in area foreclosures and layoffs.

“A lot of people in Putnam are losing their homes and jobs,” she said. “It’s sad, but the first thing to go when you’re trying to save your family is often the house pet. And because we are no kill, everyone wants to bring their pets here.”

As a result, the shelter is over populated.

The humane society is currently housing about 200 pets, 60 more than its average. Some of the animals have called the humane society home for nearly three years.

The shelter adopts about 60 pets per month. But the adoption fees don’t even cover the animals initial medical expenses.

And with drop-offs to the shelter outpacing adoptions, it’s no longer admitting new pets, Adams said.

Watch the following video and see what your dollars will be going for.

To adopt: Go to the shelter at 112 Norma St. in Hollister, call (386) 325-1587 or visit www.hsnefl.org. Those who adopt from this Saturday to Saturday, May 30, will get one free introductory dog training lesson plus a starter supply of free dog food courtesy of Rene and Allison Hofstetter of Custom K9 Dog Training in Elkton and Michelle Stevens-Kraft, publisher of Pet Yellow Pages, a St. Augustine-based pet magazine.

Financial donations: They can be made several ways — using credit card, (386) 325-1587; online using Paypal, www.hsnefl.org ; or by mail, P.O. Box 188, Hollister, FL 32147

Food or supplies donations: They can be dropped off at the shelter. (To get there, take Florida 20 from Palatka toward Interlachen, turn right on to Rowland Avenue, then first right onto Norma Street.)

To volunteer: Call (386) 325-1587 or send and e-mail to shelterstaff@gbso.net.

* Jackflash is one of the adorable dogs up for adoption at the Humane Society NE Florida