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Monday, May 27, 2024

Gainesville Pet Rescue's new location on Archer Road aims to increase pet adoptions and keep Alachua County Animal Services a "no-kill" shelter.

Local pet owners, volunteers, staff and supporters celebrated the official grand opening with an open house Thursday evening.

Amy Schumacher, animal care technician, said the event was truly a celebration because it showcased the finished product after about three years of construction delays.

The location at 5403 SW Archer Road is about three times larger than the old facility at Tower Road, Schumacher said.

The building is a renovated one-story house sitting on 1.8 acres of land.

Having more space has improved the adoption process because potential pet owners can interact with the animals in four new showrooms, she said.

"They can come in the rooms and play, so people can actually see what they're like," she said.

The organization raised more than $100,000 through its "Raise the Woof" campaign to buy, renovate and operate the building.

Schumacher said she already sees improvements since the new location opened in early January. The animals are friendlier to visitors because the new environment is more calming, she said.

The old location had very limited space.

The dogs constantly barked and the cats were stressed because the animals were held in the same room, Schumacher said. The new facility provides enough space to hold cats and dogs in separate rooms.

In addition, staff members can take better care of the animals at the new location because sick pets are kept in a separate room from the treatment room.

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Schumacher said the location will attract people who are actually considering adopting a pet rather than just visitors who are walking by.

The staff hopes being near Dog Wood Park will also help bring in new potential pet owners, she said.

The adoption facility currently has about 70 pets available, and about 1,000 pets are adopted each year.

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