EAST COUNTY — When Dari and Rob Oglesby step into their near-empty retail space in the Shoppes at University Town Center, they look past the construction that’s under way.
Instead, they see what the space will hold once renovations to Nate’s Place, an adoption center for Nate’s Honor Animal Rescue, are complete — a glass-walled cat room, a cottage-style adoption area for dogs and an informational kiosk. It’ll also have restrooms and office space, laundry and storage areas and more.
The majority of animals will be kept at the Rescue’s Ranch location on Lorraine Road, where animals also will get medical treatment and training.
Honor vacated the Nate’s Place space in late April and prepared for a three-month project. Because of delays, however, renovations did not begin on the retail space known as Nate’s Place until Oct. 1. The facility will have been closed about eight months by the time it reopens.
“It let us get organized,” Honor President Rob Oglesby said of the delay. “We’re trying to make it feel like the Ranch while we’re here.”
Dari Oglesby, executive director, agreed. “We made some changes to the layout,” she said. “We hope when Nate’s opens, it’s going to be that much greater.”
A soft opening is expected in late November with a grand opening following sometime in December.
Nate’s Place will continue to serve as an adoption center, but space will be better utilized than before and also will be used for educational programming and other uses, Dari Oglesby said.
“Nate’s Place before — people just came in to look at the animals,” she said. “There was no follow through and education. We’re going to try to change that.”
Additionally, Nate’s Place will offer limited items for sale, such as leashes and toys, to help bring in revenues to offset the organization’s roughly $22,000 in monthly expenses.
The rescue also will hold a family carnival Nov. 10, to help raise funds for the organization, while also bringing awareness to Honor, its facilities and the animals under its care.
Honor is on track to adopt out 720 animals in 2012, compared to 633 in 2011, even with having Nate’s Place closed for about eight months, Dari Ogesby said.
Contact Pam Eubanks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nate’s Honor Animal Rescue Fall Carnival
When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 10
Where: 4951 Lorraine Road, Bradenton
Cost: Free admission and parking; Wristbands for games and activities cost $15 in advance; $20 at event
Includes: Unlimited games, activities, raffles, food, silent auctions, product vendors and more.
Other details: Please no personal pets.
Benefits: Nate’s Honor Animal Rescue
Year: # of animals adopted
2012: 720 (Estimate)