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In April, 2019, HSTC announced its official no-kill status, making the shelter the only open-access, no-kill animal welfare organization operating in Martin County. This milestone served as a celebration of our commitment to save as many lives as possible while providing a progressive and nurturing temporary living environment for our shelter residents that includes veterinary care, exercise, enrichment activities, and as much loving human contact as possible.
The next phase of this commitment includes a three-phase renovation project to keep up with our ever-growing programs and services. HSTC will expand the adoption campus in Palm City with the additions of the Mildred & Frank Savastano Dog Play Areas and the Jane & Shirley Wurz Training Center, and with the renovation of the Adoption Centers for Dogs, Cats, and Small Animas and the Lobby.
Frank and Millie Savastano had a vision to create a beautiful outdoor play area for the shelter dogs. Because of their commitment, HSTC was able to build six brand new fenced in outdoor play areas for the dogs. Completed this July, these play pens were constructed with the safety of the dogs in mind and for year-round use.
Using appropriate materials for fencing, artificial turf, and a structure that provides shade but also allows natural light for the dogs, the Mildred and Frank Savastano Dog Play Area not only provides a great place for the dogs to play, but also serves as an outdoor area for dogs to meet their potential new families. Since the completion of this project, our shelter dogs are now able to play, enjoy outdoor enrichment, spend time with staff and volunteers alike to socialize, and also meet potential adopters.
HSTC wants to thank Frank and Millie Savastano for their support to help us improve the quality of life for all the dogs in our care and to increase opportunities for social interaction.
The video clips below show two shelter dogs enjoying the new dog play area! Click on the "expand button" to the right of the volume button to view these videos in full-screen mode.
The Mildred & Frank Savastano Dog Play opened at the end of July, 2019. The structure features six separate play areas, each of which are half-shaded/half-open to sunlight.
The new structure also offers industrial fans to help our shelter dogs stay cool.
Jane and Shirley Wurz held lifelong commitments to the welfare of animals and were both deeply invested in our humane society. Jane's goal was for HSTC to be able to offer low-cost training at all levels to the public, from basic to utility, because she knew the joy trained dogs can bring to their owner. To make her vision a reality, Jane made a $1 million gift to build the Jane & Shirley Wurz Training Center, as the second phase of the shelter's renovation project.
This 4,500 square-foot building will serve as the region's largest indoor training facility for dogs. This facility will allow HSTC to offer obedience training seven days a week, expand the pet enrichment programs for shelter animals, host humane education conferences, workshops, and events, and serve as a hub for bringing the community together to save more lives.
Learn about these incredible women and their vision here.
HSTC broke ground on the Jane & Shirley Wurz Training Center on Thursday, August 8, 2019, marking the start of the second phase of the Shelter Renovation Project.
From left to right: Terence McCarthy, HSTC Chairman of the Board; Gary Ober, HSTC Board of Directors; Harold Jenkins, Martin County Commissioner; Frank Valente, HSTC President & CEO; Ron Kirchman II, Kirchman Construction President; and Mary Laub Cowan, HSTC Director Emeritus and valued friend of the late Jane D. Wurz.
Project Update: As of May, 2020, the finishing touches have been added to the building's exterior.
After the completion of the Wurz Center, HSTC will conclude the Shelter Renovation Project with the renovation of its Adoption Center and Lobby to provide a progressive and nurturing temporary living environment for homeless pets. This third and final phase of the multi-year project will tackle the threats to physical heath, mental health, and adoptability for shelter pets.
The renovation includes: sound-proofing Dog Adoptions to dampen the echo of dog barking, thereby diminishing the stimulation of additional dog barking and reducing canine stress; expanding the physical space available for each pet in all three adoption areas; improving visibility and sanitation with glass kennels in all three adoption areas; adding free-roaming areas in Cat Adoptions; and finally, creating an overall design for each adoption area and for our lobby that will promote a healthier environment and that will increase the number of adoptions of healthy shelter pets.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this final phase of our renovation project has been put on pause.
To learn more about this phase of the project or to support the renovation with a one-time or continuing gift, please contact Taylor Gilmour, Director of Development & Communications, at (772) 600-3212.
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