LAKEWOOD RANCH — Most residents probably would say either the Humane Society of Manatee County, Bishop Animal Shelter SPCA or Animal Services of Manatee County give the most homes to abandoned animals in the county.
But Honor Sanctuary Animal Rescue, a relatively new no-kill rescue/shelter that began in July 2007, actually has more animals than any other facility in Manatee or Sarasota counties, said Cindy Morton, president of the not-for-profit Honor Sanctuary Animal Rescue Board.
“We have more than 200 animals now in our care, which is more animals than any shelter in Manatee or Sarasota has and yet few people know we even exist,” Morton said during a lunch press conference Friday at the Polo Grill & Bar on Main Street.
Honor Sanctuary, which is run by a handful of committed volunteers, rescues animals both from owners and from other facilities, Morton said.
“We gather up as many dogs, puppies, cats and kittens as we can from our local animal services,” Morton said. “But, of course, there is only so much room at the inn.”
In order to raise awareness about itself and raise needed funds, Honor Sanctuary will open a new thrift shop Nov. 14 at 3518 53rd Ave. W., Bradenton, Morton announced Friday.
The store will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays.
The store will sell clothing, household goods, furniture, cameras, small electronics, luggage, toys, paintings, jewelry and more.
“Gently used items are needed to be donated,” Morton said.
The organization is hosting a “Name that thrift shop” contest at www.NameThat ThriftShop.info.
“This group needs to be applauded for the work it is doing,” said Manatee County Commissioner Carol Whitmore, who attended the press conference.
Honor Sanctuary has also decided to open a new dog sanctuary in Lakewood Ranch in early November, Morton said. The dog sanctuary will take some of the pressure off the 30 to 40 foster families who now take care of the bulk of the animals.
Honor Sanctuary also runs Nate’s Place, its retail adoption center for cats and dogs at 8435 Cooper Creek Blvd. That facility is named for animal lover Nate Benderson, of Benderson Development.