Located in Lake Panasoffkee, Fla., the Humane Society/SPCA of Sumter County (HSSPCA) is currently raising funds to build Florida’s first green animal shelter.
“We have often been described by many of the larger rescues throughout Florida and by representatives of the national animal agencies as ‘the little rescue that could,'” says Claudia Labbé, Green Shelter Committee chairperson for HSSPCA.
The updated, eco-friendly shelter will be complete with solar panels, pre-engineered recycled steel infrastructure, motion sensitive lighting, radiant flooring, rainwater collection systems, recycled furnishings, native and non-toxic plants for indoor air quality, a community recycling program and much more.
For 28 years, the organization has been rescuing animals from cruelty cases, natural disasters and local animal control facilities – which heavily rely on outside organizations for help with animal placement.
The organization recently completed its new Equine and Livestock Facility, which was also constructed with the earth in mind. A modular and interchangeable system was used, ensuring reuse of the facility should the location ever need to change. In addition to the modular design, the facility utilized recycled plastic for walls and recycled and insulated roof panels.
Also, in honor of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day this year, HSSPCA is encouraging animal lovers everywhere to take the Earth Day “40” challenge and help build the environmentally friendly animal shelter. Here are some creative ways to get involved:
– Collect 40 empty inkjet cartridges, old cell phones or aluminum cans for the shelter to recycle
– Raise $40 for the green animal shelter fund
– Collect and reuse 40 blankets to give rescued animals a warm place to sleep
– Volunteer 40 hours this year to help with rescued animals
The shelter will post all the community results in the Earth Day “40” challenge on its Web site.
This “little rescue that could” joins just a handful of similar organizations that have attempted to decrease the footprint associated with the good work they do. Last year, The Potter League of Rhode Island became the first shelter in the U.S. to earn LEED Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.
The costs of completing the 5-acre facility are estimated between $750,000 to $1 million. So far, HSSPCA has raised about 15 percent of the necessary funds and welcomes donations.