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All Paws on Deck: Nate's Honor Animal Rescue seeks volunteers

Nate’s Honor Animal Rescue’s volunteer base shrinks in the dog days of summer. But for the shelter’s 185 dogs and cats, there’s no such thing as summer vacation.

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  • | 6:00 a.m. June 3, 2015
  • East County
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Residents often welcome the departure of seasonal traffic, but at Nate’s Honor Animal Rescue, the departure of snowbirds isn’t a happy tale.

The animal rescue, located on Lorraine Road just south of State Road 64, has almost doubled its animal intake from the same time as last year, but its volunteer count is shrinking during the summer.

Its staff of six full-time and four part-time employees have had to neglect administrative needs to to walk and feed animals. 

“I write grant proposals, but I have no time to focus on that now,” said Associate Executive Director Karen Slomba. 

When it’s running at full and optimal animal care capacity, Honor has approximately 40 volunteers filtering in and out throughout the day performing myriad tasks. These volunteers work approximately 800 hours in a week. 

At the same time, the rescue facility has more dogs and cats in need of help than usual.

Honor adopted out approximately 345 animals between January and June in 2014; so far this year, it’s paired 561 pets with new  forever homes.

Heading into summer — and still taking in just as many animals — Honore staff is relying heavily on approximately 10 volunteers to help care for 100 dogs and 85 cats.

“Our only answer is cutting back on animal intake,” said Dari Oglesby, executive director. “If we don’t get more volunteers, we’ll have to close more days, which equals less adoptions.”

Sylvia McNichol helps feed the dogs in the cottages. Photo by Jessica Salmond
Sylvia McNichol helps feed the dogs in the cottages. Photo by Jessica Salmond

 With animal care being the top priority, Oglesby said the shelter has to reduce the number of animals it takes in from other shelters and rescues to ensure the animals it already has receive quality care.

Most of Honor’s pets come from kill shelters in Manatee and Sarasota counties and surrounding areas, although some do come from out of state rescues and owner surrender.

“In a sense, it’s a life or death situation,” Slomba said. “This is a plea for help.”



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