HSSC Celebrates Grand Opening

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The animal group celebrated the end of a long road of development with a ribbon cutting on Sept. 24.

by: Harry Sayer Staff Writer

The Humane Society has had a trying few years. The group's old adoption building had fallen into a poor state and eventually had to be demolished in 2020. Staff meanwhile crowded their operations into the adjacent education center while a new building was completed.

They're in a better place now. After two years of demolition, construction, and patience, staff celebrated the grand opening of its new facility with community members and supporters on Sept, 24.

"We've weathered demolition, renovation, construction, COVID, closures, hurricanes … but we made it," said board president Teresa Jones. "We're stronger, braver and saving more animals than ever."

Executive Director Anna Gonce spoke to the audience about the importance of the new center. Guests also heard from Mayor Hagen Brody and others.The 37,513 square-foot facility now includes a number of areas and amenities including play rooms for cats, training spaces, a reflection garden, and more.

The grand opening comes at the end of an $8.5 million expansion and renovation project, which opened to staff in early January but is now open and available in a greater capacity for the public. The new space allows staff to take in close to 1,000 more animals each year, bringing the total closer to 2,700. On a more immediate note, the shelter now has a more equipped medical center that allows the medical staff to treat animals faster and more efficiently.

Those new features have come in handy recently — HSSC staff said they were able to use the larger facility to take in more animals from shelters damaged by Hurricane Ida.

The event concluded with a ribbon cutting and staff providing tours into the new center for the public. 

To view more photos from the Observers coverage visit: https://www.yourobserver.com/photo-gallery/humane-society-celebrates-grand-opening?time=1632513893#photo-16

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THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF SARASOTA COUNTY
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