New animal care facility to open March 30 in Okatie

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The new Beaufort County Animal Campus will serve as a shelter, clinic and adoption center for rescued dogs and cats. The new facility includes a dog bone-shaped pond out back. COURTESY BEAUFORT COUNTY

Seven years of planning will soon become a reality for the new Beaufort County Animal Campus. On March 30, local stakeholders will join together for the official ribbon cutting-ceremony at the new facility on Hwy. 170 in Okatie.

The 10-acre complex is the largest public-private undertaking in the history of Beaufort County.

The 20,000-square-foot facility will include Beaufort County Animal Services and Hilton Head Humane Association's Spay/Neuter Clinic and its second Adoption Center. This combines all these services under one roof, instead of three separate locations throughout the county.

The Animal Campus is centrally located in Beaufort County - just five minutes from the intersection of Hwy. 278 and Okatie Highway, and comes complete with a dog bone-shaped pond.

"On behalf of current and past Council members, particularly Rick Caporale, who led the effort for the new shelter," said Stu Rodman, chairman of Beaufort County Council. "We are proud of our public-private partnership with Hilton Head Humane Association. We look forward to the opportunity to provide improved services while continuing our success of reducing overpopulation and euthanasia in our community."

"As we continue our partnership with Beaufort County, and in particular Beaufort County Animal Services, we cannot emphasize enough the thousands of animals that are alive today because of this relationship," said Chuck Laine, chairman of the Humane Association board of directors. "This arrangement has been a collaborative effort that has successfully helped us carry out our mission of improving the lives of homeless dogs and cats while also working to substantially lower the number of animals reproduced or relinquished."

"The two largest agencies in our county understand that we are 'Better Together,'" said Tallulah Trice, director of Beaufort County Animal Services. "And we also understand critical to reducing intake and euthanasia is to emphasize aggressive spay and neuter programs. This is why the spay-neuter clinic was central in the design of the new building. We will now be transporting animals down a hallway versus a highway."

The HHHA is a no-kill shelter and is committed to eliminating euthanasia of healthy and treatable animals. All shelter animals are spayed or neutered before adoption and no-cost spay-neuters are performed at the shelter for eligible residents.

To lower the number of animals relinquished, counseling and aid are available to help people keep their animals.

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