PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -A shelter once filled with animals, now sits empty off of Bay Avenue in Panama City, waiting for its doors to open again,
The Humane Society of Bay County closed its shelter back in April 2020.
“We decided that it was best for us to kind of stop where we were at. Stop while we were ahead. We stopped intakes, got everyone adopted by the end of April, and, shut the doors temporarily,” Lauryn Gill, HSBC’s Thrift Store Manager, said.
Gill said a few things contributed to the decision to temporarily close the shelter including damage to the building from Hurricane Michael.
“Being that it is such a uniquely shaped building, for those that don’t know it is a dome building. It is very hard to find people who specialize in fixing things that went wrong like windows and just structural things. It is kind of a money pit,” Gill said.
Then Gill said after COVID hit there was a lack of funding.
“It was hard to outreach and say hey you know we are hurting we need help when everyone was hurting and needed help,” Gill said.
However, the Humane Society did reopen its thrift store. The original location was destroyed in Hurricane Michael, but they have a store set up located in the shopping plaza on West 15th Street in Panama City.
“100% of the proceeds go to the shelter. So, all the donations everything we get is in the thrift store has been donated and all of the profits is funneled just straight into the reopening project,” Gill said.
But when will we see the shelter open once again?
“We do not have a date. or even really a set number but we are really excited to share that we have plans.,” Gill said. “So things are in motion there is just a lot of decision-making that has to be done so we do not have any big info right now. But we do want to let people know that we are trying to come back and help.”
Gill said they are still providing some low-cost services for the community, like vaccines and flea and heartworm medications.
For other services like low-cost spaying and neutering, you’ll have to go to organizations like Operation Spay Bay.
Gill said she does recommend people coming in wanting to adopt to local rescues and local shelters.
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