Animal Shelter on the Road to Recovery After Fire

By: Candace Sweat Email
By: Candace Sweat Email

These pups haven't been adopted just yet. But that doesn't mean they won't soon have a new place to call home. And that's reason enough to celebrate with a glass of wine and cheese.

"We feel like this is an opportunity for a new beginning, a new location in a beautiful setting," said Mark Kessler, President for the Jefferson County Humane Society.

And it's all thanks to this couple. Jeannie and Dick Beetsma donated three acres of land to the Jefferson County Humane Society. Land that will soon be the site for a new 400-thousand dollar facility.

"It's been a hard struggle. We were searching for a way to rebuild," said Kessler.

The Humane Society took a huge blow last October, 2010 when a late-night fire ripped through the property, destroying one of three trailers used to care for animals and causing about 50-thousand dollars in damages.

Up until about two months ago, shelter management was struggling with the idea of rebuilding on just .8 acres of land. Now space is not a concern.

In the current shelter, the Jefferson County Humane society houses about 20 dogs. When the new shelter is done, that number will double. That means more of these little guys will have place to lay their heads.

Those who've adopted from the shelter say it's vital to the community.

"When you get a pet from the humane society, you're getting a pet that is healthy, you're getting a pet that has been spayed and neutered, you're getting a pet that has been socialized," said Adopter, Melanie Mays.

Kessler says they plan to begin construction sometime this summer and complete the project by the end of the year.

The couple that donated the land was too shy to talk about their good deed on camera, but they've been volunteering with the humane society for decades and say they did it simply because they love the animals.

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  • by Leon Location: TLH on Apr 8, 2011 at 02:32 PM
    If everyone would take the money they donate to The Refuge House, The Shelter and the United Way and give it to the animal shelter, the world would be a better place.
  • by Frances Location: Wakulla on Apr 8, 2011 at 10:01 AM
    These folks that donated this property are awesome folks!
  • by blessed Location: Lamont on Apr 8, 2011 at 08:46 AM
    I only have shelter pets and they are the best! I am so proud to be a volunteer for the shelter and to see where it has been and is going now. Heartfelt thanks to Mark and Theresa for their initive and encouragement and time..... Mr and Mrs Beetsma, God see's your good works too!
  • by catlover Location: monticello on Apr 8, 2011 at 08:31 AM
    All god's animals will bless you forever for your love.
  • by Dog Lover Location: TLH on Apr 8, 2011 at 05:01 AM
    Thank you Beetsma's, love, all the animals you will help!
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