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‘Hope House’ takes step forward

The Humane Society of Pike County is edging ever closer to opening the Hope House, a shelter for abandoned, neglected and abused animals, near Brundidge.

Society members met Thursday morning with contractors who will be working on the project and the meeting was very encouraging, said Debbie Loyd, society president.

“We have two contractors who are working with us,” Loyd said. “Gary Williams is a retired contractor who is on the board of the Montgomery Humane Society and helped with the renovation of their facility and the building of the new facility. Herbie Garrett is a local contractor, who helped build kennels when he was a student at Auburn. So, we have outstanding leadership.”

Loyd said the immediate plan is to build kennels in the 3,000-square-foot structure, metal structure on the 70-acre site that is available to the Humane Society of Pike County.

“The property and structures were willed to the Humane Society of the United States by Delores Hutter of Brundidge,” Loyd said. “After writing a proposal and participating in a series of interviews to determine that the Humane Society of Pike County would be competent and equipped to operate a shelter, the Humane Society of the United States donated 14 acres, the house, the metal facility, a barn and a small metal unit to our society.”

Loyd said because the property was once a sanctuary for wild animals and part of the Wildlife Land Trust, the additional acreage is available for use by the Humane Society of Pike County.

“Our initial plan is to cut lines for the sewer because we’ll have lines to each of the kennels,” Loyd said. “The kennels will be insulated and ventilated. We’ll start with kennels at the back of the building and work forward. We’ll start small and build from there.”

The Humane Society of Pike County has seed money for the project but could benefit from donations of equipment such as jackhammers, cement saws, concrete blocks, rebars and other building equipment.

“Of course, we always appreciate volunteers who would like to be a part of getting the kennel operational,” Loyd said. “We will call the kennel the Hope House because this is where animals can come and have hope for a better life. We have a fulltime caretaker who lives on the property, so it is secure.”

Williams said he has pledged his help to the humane society and will bring the experience gained from working with the Montgomery Humane Society’s shelter, which is “one of the best animal shelters in the South.”

“The property and facilities here have great possibilities,” he said. “What good fortune to have something like this dropped in your lap. If we’d had something like this, it would have really reduced our debt. This property is beautiful and to have it donated. How lucky.”

Williams said there is plenty of room at the site for a dog park.

“A lot of big cities have dog parks where people can come and let their dogs run,” he said.

“This property will be ideal for that and, too, there is space for horses to be kept. We have quite a number of rescued horses at our facility. Any large animals that are rescued can be ‘sheltered’ here. This is just wonderful and I’m looking forward to working with the people here.”

For more information, to volunteer or to make a donation to the Humane Society of Pike County, call Loyd at 807-0002.