Humane Society of Bay County animal shelter remains closed after two years

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – A once-filled animal shelter now sits empty off Bay Avenue in Panama City, waiting for its doors to reopen,

The Humane Society of Bay County closed its shelter in April 2020.

“We decided it was best for us to stop where we left off. Stop while we were ahead. We stopped admissions, got everyone adopted in late April, and closed the doors temporarily,” he said. said Lauryn Gill, HSBC second-hand store manager.

Gill said a few things contributed to the decision to temporarily close the shelter, including damage to the building from Hurricane Michael.

“Since it’s such a uniquely shaped building, for those who don’t know, it’s a domed building. It is very difficult to find people who specialize in repairing problems such as windows and structural problems. It’s kind of a money pit,” Gill said.

Then Gill said after the COVID hit there was a lack of funding.

“It was hard to reach out and say hey, you know we’re in pain, we need help when everyone else was in pain and needed help,” Gill said.

However, the Humane Society has reopened its thrift store. The original location was destroyed in Hurricane Michael, but they have a store set up in the West 15th Street mall in Panama City.

“100% of the profits go to the shelter. So all donations we receive in the thrift store have been donated and all proceeds are channeled directly into the reopening project,” Gill said.

But when will we see the shelter reopen?

“We don’t have a date or even really a set number, but we’re really excited to share that we have plans,” Gill said. “So things are in flux, there’s just a lot of decisions to take, so we don’t have any important information at the moment. But we want to let people know that we are trying to come back and help.

Gill said they still provide low-cost services to the community, like vaccines and medicine for fleas and heartworms.

For other services like spaying and low cost sterilization, you will need to go to organizations like Operation Spay Bay.

Gill said she recommends people wanting to adopt local rescues and local shelters.

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