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St. Lucie County Invites Press/Public to Tour Temporary Animal Shelter Oct. 9
St. Lucie County’s Animal Safety, Service and Protection Division will host an open house/press conference of the new Temporary Animal Shelter being used by animal control officers from the county and the cities of Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie on Wednesday, Oct. 9 at 1:30 p.m. The facility is located inside the Treasure Coast International Airport and Business Park at 2700 Industrial Ave. 3.
All three local governments were forced to create a temporary animal shelter after each agency ended their contracts with the Humane Society of St. Lucie County/Second Chance Animal Shelters on Sept. 30. Local governments plan to use this temporary shelter facility until contract disputes over the occupancy of the shelter on Savannah Road in Fort Pierce can be resolved and a new non-profit organization is selected through a Request for Proposal process to handle the sheltering and adoption of animals that are impounded by animal control officers. Local governments will not be transferring any animals impounded prior to Oct. 1 to the new temporary shelter.
St. Lucie County’s temporary shelter will have the ability to house more than 100 animals in an air-conditioned facility at the Treasure Coast International Airport. Roughly 8,200-square-feet of the 21,000-square-foot building will be used to house animals. Built in 1977, St. Lucie County owns the building and 2.5-acre parcel. Staff will work with area shelters to adopt out any animals that are impounded at the temporary shelter.
St. Lucie County is currently working on an emergency shelter service agreement with the Treasure Coast Humane Society to operate the temporary shelter. Until an agreement is in place the shelter will be operated by St. Lucie County’s Animal Safety staff with the help of trustees from the St. Lucie County Jail.
“The St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office has several projects that help make our county beautiful while providing work skills to incarcerated individuals. Inmate labor provides a valuable service to the community, but more importantly it gives inmates an opportunity to develop skills that could benefit them upon release,” said St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara. “Our goals with inmate labor are to create meaningful opportunities for growth, reduce recidivism rates and assist in gainful employment when their incarceration is complete.”
The hours of operation for the temporary shelter will be from noon to 6 p.m. daily. If residents are missing a pet and are worried that it might be impounded at the temporary shelter or if they have found a pet and want to see if anyone has reported it missing, they can call 911 to speak with an animal safety or animal control officer to coordinate pickup or file a lost/found report. A direct phone line for the temporary shelter will be established sometime next week.
Residents wishing to surrender their dogs and cats are encouraged to utilize other area animal shelters or rehome their pets through social media outlets until a permanent shelter can be established as the temporary facility will not be doing adoptions from this site. If residents have no other option, they can call 911 to have their animal safety or animal control agency take their animals to the temporary shelter in an attempt to locate a rescue willing to take the animal.
The facility on Industrial Ave. 3 was selected because of the location, setup and ability to renovate the building in a timely manner. St. Lucie County’s Facilities staff worked over the past few weeks painting, improving the air conditioning and ventilation; as well as install indoor kennels and fencing for outdoor runs.
St. Lucie County’s goal is to use this facility as a temporary animal control structure. The building and associated property is primarily for the use and benefit of Treasure Coast International Airport and Business Park. However, these renovations will help make the facility more marketable in the future since it includes a large warehouse type space with associated professional office located next to other prime industrial and commercial properties within a properly zoned industrial park.