It’s full-steam ahead for the Humane Society of Lakewood Ranch.
Although the organization has been adopting out animals since its inception in November 2010, the rescue group officially opened its two new facilities — 2nd Chance Boutique and an adoption center and clinic — to the public June 18.
“We’re going step-by-step as fast as we can,” Humane Society board member Susan Giroux said with a grin.
Moving forward, the operations will go hand in hand in fulfilling the organization’s goal to save as many animals as possible.
The new consignment boutique offers ladies clothing, shoes and handbags, paintings and other items for purchase four days a week. Organizers are accepting donations to sell, as well as consignments, and all proceeds will go toward funding the organization’s clinic and adoption center located at 7334 Trade Court in the Lakewood Ranch Corporate Park, Giroux said.
The new clinic and adoption center is still a work-in-progress but already is housing cats and kittens, offering a hub for administrative duties and providing a meeting space for prospective adoptive families and their future pets. Eventually, the site will have a full grooming station for animals and an operating room, where the Humane Society’s veterinarian, Dr. Erik Walker, can perform spay/neuter procedures, among others.
Humane Society leaders say the spay/neuter program and educating pet owners about the importance of spaying/neutering is essential for saving the lives of more animals in the long term.
“(The county is) still putting animals down that are perfectly wonderful pets,” Giroux said “It should be zero. We want a no-kill community. That’s what we’re all here for.
“The whole community has to participate if we want to have no-kill,” she said.
The Humane Society still needs to obtain an anesthesia machine and an autoclave, among several other smaller items, before spay/neuter services can be offered to local animal rescue groups, and others, at the clinic, Humane Society President Debbie Rubin said.
Additionally, a more long-term goal for the organization is to have another facility, more like a kennel, where it can house and train animals.
“We’d like to expand not only into adopting well-behaved (pets), but also help the community by offering obedience (classes),” Rubin said.
Future programs would assist pet owners with keeping their pets, whether by addressing behavioral issues through training, helping to pay for pet medications or assisting the elderly with temporary animal care.
Rubin said although the Humane Society quickly hopes to begin offering special programming, the organization’s ability to do so largely will be based on the availability and number of its volunteers.
“The more people we can get involved, the better,” Rubin said, noting volunteers can do everything from administrative tasks to dog walking or foster parenting animals. “Now that we have this open, it’s going to be a lot easier to connect with people.”
Contact Pam Eubanks at [email protected].
HOW TO HELP
For more information on the Humane Society of Lakewood Ranch or to volunteer, visit www.hslwr.org.
Second Chance Boutique
ADDRESS: 6293 Lake Osprey Drive, Sarasota
HOURS: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday
Humane Society of Lakewood Ranch Adoption Center & Clinic
ADDRESS: 7334 Trade Court, Sarasota
HOURS: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday through Sunday
FUNDRAISER: The Humane Society of Lakewood Ranch will host the Dog Days of Summer fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., July 24, at Greenbrook Adventure Park. The organization currently is seeking sponsorships for the event. For information, call 840-4055.