Animal Shelter Reopening

good morning to everyone I cannot buy
I’m so overjoyed to see this crowd here today my name is Jeff for gosh I’m the
chairman of the Board of County Commissioners it’s my honor my distinct
privilege to be here and to welcome everyone here I want to acknowledge my
counterparts that are here with me today mr. Lewman May from district 3
commissioner Grover Robinson from district 4 I want to thank all the staff
the community the volunteers for being here today you know you can judge a
person a lot of people have said this you can judge a person by the way he
treats his animals and his pets I believe that I believe you could tell
about it a lot about a community by the way they treat their animals and I’m
very very proud to be from a community that cares about animals and cares about
people in Escambia County we’ve done great things but today we’re taking it
to the next level you know we’ve got a group of people here and I want to thank
some people I want to thank PBS I’m gonna thank rescue rebuild I want to
thank the Friends of the Escambia County Animal Shelter for everything they’re
doing but most importantly yes yes please give it up for those people but
most importantly I want to thank the over 400 community volunteers who have
stepped up given their time and efforts to work on this building behind me I’ve
just walked through it and I’m gonna tell you what they have transformed this
building it’s amazing so thank you for everyone that’s been a part of this you
know when you think about animals and you think about a shelter in particular
you think you’re coming in and you’re trying to rescue animals right you go in
there and you find them homes you rescue them but you know people that have
animals they suffer a lot fewer health problems than people that don’t have
animals they have lower cholesterol lower blood pressure oftentimes if
they’re up there an age and they have a dog they have a higher likelihood of
Seraph surviving after a heart attack so there’s a lot of things animals do for
people so I’m very very humbled glad to be here glad to see this fantastic
turnout all these folks these volunteers and without further ado I’d like to turn
the program over to mr. John Robinson the director with Animal Services for
scammy County thank you John thank so so you know I couldn’t be
prouder to be up here today when I took this job almost four years ago we’ve
been everybody you know all the commissioners talk to me about how much
it’s changed and it has been an amazing change over the last four years but one
of the things to me is the change that’s happened in the last week is like so
fast I’m not used to changing this quick and they’ve done an amazing job I can’t
wait for everybody to see it but the one thing that Commissioner for god´s just
mentioned is all the community volunteers and I think I said early on
when I got here how important it was if we want to make this change that the
community gets involved I can’t do it ourselves we can’t do it ourselves in
the shelter we need all that community support so one of the things that’s
happened from this standpoint is that Kim over here over my shoulder met with
me the first week I was here told me she wanted to help me do that change and her
and some friends put together the friends of his Gambia County Animal
Shelter and they’re the ones who actually applied for this grant with
rescue rebuild through the Grainger good foundation and I can’t be more proud of
the relationship we developed with them and how much things how many things they
do for us and I’m gonna let Kim just tell you a little bit about what they’ve
done with Friends of the Escambia County Animal Shelter I just want to clarify
one thing this group was started by Laura booth
who was right there and would like to kill me for doing that but she’s our
president and founder this is her vision we all just came in to back her up just because I’m so excited so just try
to work through the tiers with me if that should happen today we are a
nonprofit dedicated to helping the animals here at the shelter that may
mean everything from treats and toys to heartworm sponsorships for animals that
are being adopted and headed to their new homes
it also means supplementary medical care whether that be an x-ray at a local vet
or an amputation it just it depends on what they need the shelter and their
staff know that they can come to us and we’ll do our very best to help out
some of the other things we do are transports to mostly northern shelters
where we can send the animals up and know that they’re going to be in good
hands and welcomed into loving homes every single animal we’ve sent 753 so
far have been adopted and no we know that they’re having the life that they
deserve and we’re ready to do more tomorrow in our big van also one new
program we have is called Operation spay neuter initiative pensacola or snip
we’re offering right also Laura’s thing we are offering low-cost spay and neuter
ten dollars for lower-income families in our community specifically focusing on
pitbulls pit pit mixes and cats because those are
the animals that most frequently find themselves in our shelters so we applied
for a great you can see what we’ve done here we we heard about rusty rebuild
thought we might qualify for that we walked around here with her cell phone
and took a five-minute video asking for a bunch of stuff that we thought were
just pie in the sky kind of things maybe we’ll get this and if we get it
maybe they’ll do this for us they’ve done almost every single thing we’ve
asked for and we are so grateful we’re so thankful for this opportunity also
shelter me is here this is also a great opportunity and dogs playing for life
has been training our staff and volunteers showing them just how
beneficial play groups are to our animals that reduce the stress it gets
them out that makes them more adoptable because people can see what they truly –
look what they may look like it when they get home happy healthy excited
animals so anyway I can go on but I won’t I’ll spare you we just want to say
thank you very much – Brynn and her group John for your support shelter me
and dogs playing for life we’re all very very grateful for this opportunity thank
you all right everybody get your tissues
cause Kim’s gonna cry damn it so camp Brown it’s our new friends here
you see all of them in the horn shirts from rescue rebuild and one of the
things that I’m really excited about this you see the changes on the outside
of the building you’ll see a lot of cosmetic changes to the building but the
amazing part about this is it’s not just cosmetic changes they are making
differences in these animals lives inside the building their new rooms that
they’ve developed are going to help the cat stay healthier the big play yards
that they built for the dogs playing for Life Group and the volunteers that we’ve
had come out are gonna help those animals stay healthier so I’m really
excited about that and I’m gonna introduce you to Brynn and she’s going
to tell you why she’s not finished yet I’m sorry I sound like a frog but for
yelling at 400 volunteers over the course of nine days somehow my voice got
lost in the shuffle so yes it is not quite finished yet mainly because every
time I turn around Jon’s like you know what would be really cool so that
happened a good deal he’s brilliantly creative which is exactly what shelters
this day and age need long ago in the age of dog pounds you know it was just a
repository for animals and so rescue rebuilt strives to take all that out of
the equation what we want to do is we want to make a place where animals are
happier they’re healthier they have places to run and play get some fresh
air cats can get out of cages cuz nobody would you be your best you in a cage
neither is a cat neither is a dog so it’s kind of the same philosophy and
then in addition to making the animals happier and healthier we want to make
this a place that your community is proud to come to families are always
looking for ways to like enrich their children’s lives and this is a great way
bring your kids to the shelter on the weekend walk some pets in the room and
play with some cats socialize them make them more acceptable to adopting
families and now you have a place that families can come and not be like my kid
is gonna need therapy for a year it’s a great fun place we’ve tried to go
for like coffee shop meets preschool meets uh I guess Mardi Gras we’re going
without your I don’t really know you’ll definitely not miss it when you
drive by anymore though right so we’re just so happy everybody in
Pensacola has been so amazing amazing to us the community support has been just
absolutely fabulous we couldn’t be happier out of a hundred and fifty
shelters that applied for this grant Pensacola won it and we couldn’t have
been happier with our decision so thanks for having us and I hope you enjoy it yeah I would be remiss if I did not
recognize our counterpart District two Commissioner Doug Underhill did make it
out so thanks for coming Doug well we’ve heard some great speeches and now here
comes the fun part and again before we do this we’re about to cut the ribbon
right is that right that’s where okay so we got the big scissors we got the we
got the spool we’re about to do this but I just want to reiterate my thanks again
to all the volunteers and all the agencies and entities that made this
happen you’re doing great things for animals in our community but you’re
doing great things for people in our community so that’s what’s important and
so without further ado let’s let’s cut this ribbon

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