Five years ago the Humane Society of Bay County decided to move out of it's long time shelter facility behind the Panama City Police Department. The air conditioning system in the building, known as the igloo, was shot and too expensive to repair in the heart of the recession, but times have changed.
It's been a long time coming, but the Humane Society of Bay County is finally going home. Next week the organization is moving back into its shelter off East 15th Street.
Shelter workers and volunteers had to vacate the shelter after the air conditioning system finally gave out.
Starla Raiborn, who is the current General Manager of the Humane Society hadn't been in the building before last year. She said, "Four years with no animals and the smell still knocked me over and that's because the HVAC system just wasn't adequate for what we were putting it through."
After several years of fundraisers, loans, and a generous donation from Trane, the Humane Society now has two air conditioning units to control the shelter's environment. There are also other upgrades and improvements thanks to donations from Sherman Williams, Royal American, and others.
Starla added, "One of the great things about this is we have a completely separate suite for quarantined animals. Animals who are starting to show signs of puppy colds or kitty colds and it has it's own are intake system so that they will never come into contact with our healthy animals and spread little puppy colds or kitty colds throughout the facility. That's really exciting."
And the building will soon be home to Operation Spay Bay, a low-cost spay and neuter clinic.
Terri Davidson is the President of the Humane Society, "There is just a tremendous amount of over-population and you can adopt out all you want. That's only half the problem the other problem is reproducing and so it's all geared towards getting the those numbers down. So, now we'll have two organizations working at two different ends of the spectrum to reduce the amount of homeless animals."
The shelter will continue to be the only no-kill shelter in Bay County.
The Humane Society plans to move from the current shelter at 2620 East 15th Street back to the renovated facility this weekend.
They'll begin moving supplies and animals at around 10:00 tomorrow morning and could use some help, especially those with trucks. If you're interested, just show up.
The Humane Society is planning to host a Grand Reopening on Tuesday.