JUPITER – At the corner of Capital Street and Jupiter Park Drive, contractors abound on a construction site.
They paint walls, install electrical wires and install flooring. “Everything is going full steam ahead here,” said Pat Deshong, president of Furry Friends Adoption, Clinic & Ranch, the no-kill animal shelter and hospital that hopes to move into the new 15,000-square-foot facility by the next. end of the month.
The two-story building has been in the works for about three years, said Herb Baum, chairman of the board of Furry Friends. Baum, now retired after a career with Dial Corporation and Campbell Soup, donated the Capital Street property to the animal shelter.
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Boasting five grassed outdoor play areas, with a two-story cat pen among interior features, Baum said he was particularly mindful of how the new building meets the needs of the animals of Furry Friends.
There are three separate kennel rooms for dogs of different sizes, as well as separate rooms for kittens and puppies. The new clinic includes four examination rooms, a laboratory, an X-ray space and two recovery rooms.
Deshong also noted that there are five hiking trails nearby, an improvement over the previous Furry Friends space at a Maplewood Drive mall just south of Indiantown Road.
“We have a facility that works best for our animals and that is our mantra … ‘For the love of animals.’ Animals come first in my mind, so we built this for them, ”Baum said.
Baum describes the new facility as a dream come true.
He was among those who restarted the animal shelter and clinic previously known as Safe Harbor, which Baum called a “failed organization,” in 2013 under the new Furry Friends banner. They built the shelter’s reputation over the years that followed, he said.
At the end of Furry Friends’ financial year, Baum said he planned to quit. “I wanted to see this built,” he said.
Furry Friends has raised around $ 1.5 million to $ 2 million in donations to support their construction efforts, Deshong said.
She and Program Director Karen Counts want residents of the area to feel invested in the success of their organization, also known as The Humane Society of Greater Jupiter / Tequesta. Counts envisions the building as a “community destination”.
The second floor of the establishment is focused on this effort. There are two community rooms upstairs that Counts says could be used for children’s birthdays, painting and tasting events, and other community gatherings.
Another room on the second floor will be set up as a sort of café lounge, where visitors can have a cup of coffee and sit in a comfortable chair while looking at the cat pen.
“We don’t want people to see this as an animal shelter,” Deshong said. “We want people to come and be a part of this. “
Editor Hannah Morse contributed to this report.