A $1.5 million expansion project is starting to take shape at Safe Harbor Humane Society, 7811 60th Ave.
The non-profit animal shelter launched its Mission Pawsible Capital Campaign to fund renovations, kennel expansions and construction of a new 5,375-square-foot addition at the current facility.
The project got underway with a groundbreaking ceremony on Sept. 28. It’s expected to be completed in spring 2021.
“The early work was in the foundation and plumbing and it didn’t look like much,” Safe Harbor Development Coordinator Adolfo Dorta said. “Now, that they’re erecting walls and putting stuff in place for the building, you can actually see the progress. You can see how big the project is now that it’s become more tangible.”
Safe Harbor has raised over $6,000 through a December fundraiser to support the project. An anonymous local resident has agreed to match those funds up to $10,000, according to Dorta.
Expansion is desperately needed to accommodate a growing animal population and facilitate its fast-rising adoption rate.
Despite all of the challenges presented in 2020, Safe Harbor has coordinated nearly 2,000 adoptions in 2020. It’s the most ever at the 104-year-old facility and a 50-percent increase over the past two years, according to Dorta.
“With the COVID restrictions we had to get a little more creative with marketing and how we put animals out there to the public,” Dorta said. “We’ve relied almost exclusively on digital media content through our Facebook page and Instagram. We’ve seen a big response to it.”
Dorta said the shelter will continue its digital movement in addition to holding its traditional in-person, brick-and-mortar events — granted it’s safe to do so — in 2021.
“We started doing live videos and we weren’t exactly sure how it would go,” Dorta said. “So far, it’s worked very well for us.”
Safe Harbor is sold out of all items — including “pet-centric” baskets, stocking stuffers, treats and toys — from last week’s Holiday Pop-Up Shop at the shelter. All proceeds benefited Safe Harbor.
Those interested in donation or sponsorship opportunities can visit www.safeharborhumanesociety.org.