By REGGIE ROSS
There’s no place like home for area rescued animals as Saturday marked the official ribbon cutting for the new Hope Animal Sanctuary near Duck Hill.
More than 100 people showed up for the ceremony Saturday morning and got a first-hand look at the new state-of-the-art facilities that will house hundreds of battered and bruised animals that were rescued from harm.
Also on hand were officials with In Defense of Animals, the international animal rights organization that has financed Hope Animal Sanctuary since it’s founding in 1993.
What was once the old horse barn has now been rebuilt into Hope’s Operations Center and is surrounded by a subdivision of 20 dog houses.
According to Operation Manager Sharon Stone, these aren’t just any dog houses.
Each house is insulated, heated and cooled, with custom doggie doors that lead to a fenced in backyard that measures 40 feet wide and 100 feet long. They even have a covered back porch, complete with ceiling fan.
Though this might sound like lavish digs for a dog, there’s a reason for it.
“When you take a dog out of a pen, and then you put them into a house, and the floors are different, the acoustics are different, it throws them way off. So they’re already living in a home, and it makes their transition out of here way easier,” Stone said.
Official with IDA said there are only a few of these facilities in the entire nation.
“These are cutting edge facilities,” said Fleur Dawes, IDA communications director. “It shows that animals deserve respect, and what this staff has done out here is remarkable.”