By Dawn Krebs
PORT ST. LUCIE -- The Humane Society of St. Lucie County came a step closer to seeing the opening of its new shelter in Port St. Lucie on Feb. 4.
That's when the large cupola was lifted to complete the roof of the facility, scheduled to open by the end of September this year.
"It's beyond words," said David Robertson, the director of operations for the facility.
The approximately 10,500 square-foot shelter, called the Port St. Lucie Kindness Center, will feature animal housing, a low-cost spay/neuter clinic, a volunteer and education center and a memorial wall for animals on the almost five-acre site on Glades Cut-Off Road.
Members of the humane society's board of directors were on hand to witness the building milestone.
"Before we even put a shovel to dirt, we spent almost five years planning this," said Joanne Ferrara, one of the board members. "It's exciting for all of us."
The construction is ahead of schedule as well, according to Frank Andrews, executive director of the humane society. He's also happy to be on budget.
"So far, we have 60 percent of the monies raised to pay for this project," he said. "None of the money has come from operating expenses or tax dollars."
The humane society, a nonprofit charity, is using bequests and capital gifts received specifically for a kindness center for this project.
The center will be able to house approximately 200 animals. When additional funds are available, a dog park will be added.
In the meantime, the society is preparing for its annual fundraiser, the ninth annual Fur Ball and Catsino Night, to be held on March 9 at the Pelican Yacht Club.
This year the gala has a Western theme, and guests are encouraged to come in their best period attire for a night of cocktails, dinner, music and silent auctions.
Tickets are $100 per person, and both tickets and sponsorships for the event are still available.
For more information about the Kindness Center or the Fur Ball, call Rita Hart at (772) 801-8564 or visit www.hsslc.org.