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The next life you save could come from this revamped animal rescue center

National Guardsman Bridget Burch came from New York to be reunited with the puppy she fell in love with while deployed in St. Croix after Hurricane Maria. Burch reunited with Dominica at Nate's Honor Rescue.
National Guardsman Bridget Burch came from New York to be reunited with the puppy she fell in love with while deployed in St. Croix after Hurricane Maria. Burch reunited with Dominica at Nate's Honor Rescue. ttompkins@bradenton.com

The facilities at Nate’s Honor Animal Rescue are in disarray.

There’s flooding to deal with, the cats and dogs are kept too close to one another, and the with only about 400 square feet of breathing room, the 60 daily volunteers are packed in like sardines.

That shouldn’t be the case in 2020. The nonprofit organization announced Saturday that it will be launching a significant expansion to its Ranch Adoption Center at 4951 Lorraine Road.

The flagship feature of the redesigned campus will be a new 20,000-square-foot Welcome and Adoption Center. There will also be a veterinary clinic onsite, a grooming center and community outreach rooms for training.

“We really can’t continue to go on,” executive director Dari Oglesby explained. “We can’t save any more than what we’re saving. And we’re struggling right now with the flooding and the issues with the property to stay in business the way that we are, so we had to do something. ”

There will also be retail spaces available to rent out. That will provide revenue to support animal services.

National Guardswoman reunites, adopts puppy she rescued in St. Croix after Hurricane Maria. The reunion happened Wednesday at Nate's Honor Animal Rescue in Lakewood Ranch.

“We’re going to have some retail and be able to rent out spaces to provide revenue back to our animal services,” said Nate’s Honor volunteer Chrissy Brahler.

The project also will alleviate the flooding and drainage issues in the animal cottages. Other improvements and additions include a 3,500-square-foot intake building, a cat cafe and a dog pool. The expansion will also allow Nate’s Honor to look after twice as many dogs and expand habitats for cats, too.

To fund the project, Oglesby said the organization has launched a capital campaign to help raise $8 million. The money won’t only be coming from donors, though.

“From today going forward, every donation we get, we match 100 percent,” Oglesby said. “So if you donate $100, that’s $200.”

Oglesby also said the expansion is happening in just the right spot. She expects an even bigger community to grow around the expansion.

“One of the reasons we’re doing this is because of the growth. When we first came out to Lorraine Road, everyone said ‘There’s no one going out there’ and now everyone’s coming.”

Paws and Warriors Foundation and Nate's Honor Animal Rescue team up on new program.

Since opening in 2008, Nate’s Honor has rescued thousands of animals, and the organization recently adopted its 10,000th animal. On average, about 2,000 animals are adopted each year.

About $2 million has already been raised toward the goal. Those interested in contributing to the capital campaign may visit NatesHonorAnimalRescue.org and click the donate button.

Ryan Callihan: 941-745-7095, @RCCallihan

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