Only $39 for one year.
Only $39 for one year.

Protecting the four-legged residents

Tim Croft
The Star

Across the spectrum of projects, what is finishing up at the St. Joseph Bay Humane Society would be barely a blip on the radar for most.

For the abandoned and lost animals of the county, though, the project is major.

And it was a long time coming.

“It truly does take a village sometimes and it did for this project,” said interim shelter director Amanda Lucas.

A prior director had applied to the Lowe’s Foundation more than a year ago for a grant to provide needed funds to shelter animals that must be housed outdoors.

That is particularly true for those animals brought in by to the shelter by Animal Control.

Those animals must be quarantined for at least five days while attempts to locate an owner are made and the animal’s health and temperament assessed.

“We are plan B if the owners are not found,” Lucas said.

However, as new faces assumed leadership roles at the shelter, the grant had somewhat lost traction and gone dormant.

Lucas reached out to Lowe’s director for the region to kick-start the process again.

After some communication and interest expressed, it was up to Lucas and staff.

“I just thought if we could provide (the animals in the outdoor compound) some shelter from the sun and the rain, that would really be a big plus,” Lucas said.

“We had to come up with the plan and what materials we would need.”

Last week, a team of nine employees from the Lowe’s store in Panama City arrived with materials and equipment in hand.

All courtesy of Lowe’s, right down to the nails.

When asked if they were here for animals, as a community service or a day away from the store, the chorus was, “Yes.”

The group set to work, joined by local contractor Ron Baumgartner, to construct a wooden frame around the 19 outdoor kennels.

Upon that frame went sun shades long and wide enough to cover the entire area.

Michael Scoggins with Killer Seafood, a stout supporter of the SJBHS, provided a lunch of fish tacos.

This week, local contractor Scott Godwin was to install two 96-inch ceiling fans which Lowe’s also donated.

In all, the donation amounted to about $3,000 of badly-needed assistance and equipment for the two-legged folks at the shelter and much more comfortable surroundings for those on four legs.