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New world for homeless felines

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For the past two years, in an effort to ensure the wellbeing of so many of our beloved furry friends without homes; The Humane Society of the Nature Coast (Hernando and Pasco Counties) has been busily constructing a beautiful new building exclusively for homeless cats and kittens. The new cat and kitten adoption facility located at 7200 Mobley Dr. Brooksville Florida, 34601, has added a spacious 5000 square feet to the shelter, where 10 staff members will complete 1000 feline adoptions a year. Their plan is to eventually raise enough funds to build new lodgings for their homeless dogs as well.  The dogs are now housed in an older building also situated on the three-acre property, but not within the same structure as the cats and kittens. 

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 Susana Arneson, Director of Development of the Humane Society of the Nature Coast believes everyone deserves a home, noting the sparkling clean facility has a more welcoming environment now than ever before. “Our goal is to inspire a world where all pets are provided the highest quality of life.  With that in mind, we have streamlined the process of our adoptions which facilitates a set goal in mind.  Expectations are great. It’s a different culture. We have raised the bar higher. Direction is positive from top to bottom.”  

The new cat and kitten facility has come about through generous community efforts, donations, and fundraisers.  “We do not receive donations from the United Way, grants, the Humane Society of the USA, or other National entities.  We do not receive money from the Federal, State, or local governments. We are supported primarily by the generosity of our wonderful community. Donations are always welcome and always needed,” Arneson reminded.

The Humane Society of the Nature Coast is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue, health, and rehoming of orphaned and abandoned pets.  The shelter is proud to serve the people and animals of the Nature Coast, which includes Hernando and Pasco counties with a variety of programs and services.  It is a “by an appointment only” operation, and for more detailed information concerning this stipulation, please call 352-796-2711.

The new cat and kitten area currently does not provide a full-time veterinarian but is in the process of locating one to join their team.  The shelter is happily a “no time limit” shelter– which means, there are no euthanasia measures taken to reduce the population, and the animals can stay there for however long it takes to find them a new home.  “We believe in animal rights. There is more to this endeavor than just coming in, signing some papers, and taking the animal home cold turkey.  We try to pair the new owner with the animal selected.  We observe how the two react to one another and encourage interaction between the two,” explained Arneson.  

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As a safety measure, the shelter goes through a list of pertinent questions before adoption, which includes counseling, and a background check.  The process takes about an hour.  When the cat leaves it is hopefully going to its forever home with lots of love in store.  “We want everyone to be happy.  We invest a lot of money, time, and effort into our animals so they don’t come back.  We are not just here to serve our community, we are here to serve our animals as well,” Arneson stressed.  Arneson has been with the organization for two years. “I love my work, it’s fun,”  she said.

The mission of the Humane Society of the Nature Coast is to provide resources to animals in need while advancing the “No-Kill culture.” The shelter takes in feral cats, lost or homeless cats, and kittens, neglected or abused animals, and animal surrenders. The adoption cost of kittens is $65, Adult cats $45, and Senior Cats $25. The shelter provides low-cost spay/neuter and vaccinations.  Go to humanerescue.org for more information concerning adoptions. 

For Hernando County citizens, the shelter provides a Pet Pantry for those people who are struggling to feed their pets.  They offer free dog food and cat food.  The assistance is served on a first-come, first-served basis.  Recipients must provide proof of residence to receive their pet food.  For more information about distribution or to donate a bag of food for the animals, call 352-796-2711. Hours of operation are: Monday through Friday, 11AM-5PM, Saturday 10AM-5PM, Sunday 1PM-5PM. 7200 Mobley Dr. Brooksville Florida, 34601.

Be on the lookout for a forthcoming Grand Opening soon, and while there maybe you will find a little bundle of fur-baby to take home.
 

 

Lisa MacNeil
Lisa MacNeil
Lisa MacNeil is a reporter for the Hernando Sun as well as a business technology developer, specializing in website development, content management systems, and data analysis.
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