Saga Humane Society buys land - Building project on the horizon!

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 15, No. 24            June 16, 2005

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Another milestone was reached on Monday, June 13th, as Saga Humane Society handed over a check to purchase the land that houses their temporary animal shelter. A team of Saga directors was present for the land sale: Ramon Nuñez represented Mr. Richard Headrick (owner of Ramon’s Village Resort), while Alberto Villanueva Jr., represented Saga; Chairperson Eileen Jamison and Vice Chairperson Mary Hawthorne signed on behalf of the Humane Society for the property.

    A little over a year ago, Headrick offered the use of San Pedro Lot #745 to the Society. Soon after, work began on the shelter, which was established to house the many homeless dogs of San Pedro Town. On May 21st, 2004, nine dogs entered the gates of Fort Dog. Today, there are 20 dogs and puppies currently awaiting adoption at the site.

    Three irregular-sized lots were purchased, which sit on the northeast side of the airstrip fence, just west of the Island Supermarket. According to the Chairperson, the purchase of land has been a priority since Saga’s inception in 1999, but it has been on hold for several years because of financial challenges and the ideal location. As soon as the land was offered for sale, directors went in search of funding and found a private sponsor who generously offered them a low-interest loan. Now that land is secured, the next phase will be a building project to relocate the Saga Society Veterinary Clinic.

    Jamison explained, “Fortunately, this deal came together at the right time, as we need to vacate our current rental unit (where the veterinary clinic is located) by November of this year. That gives us less than five months to come up with funding, build a building and relocate. We are extremely happy to have been given the opportunity to purchase this land. Our goal was to maintain a central location for the veterinary clinic in order to encourage owners to continue bringing their pets for treatment. With Fort Dog at the same spot, it will hopefully promote more adoptions!”

    Consequently, a huge fund raising project is being planned. The first meeting of the fund raising committee will be held today, Thursday, June 16th at the bar at Coconuts Hotel at 5:00 p.m. Anyone interested in participating or who has ideas about how to raise money for this most worthy organization is welcome to attend.

    The Saga Foundation Ltd., a.k.a. Saga Humane Society, is a non-profit, non-governmental organization, which relies on donations from tourists, residents and the business community of San Pedro for income. Project Manager Eileen Jamison told The San Pedro Sun, “Saga has been providing a valuable service to the island for the past six years, and so far, we have been able to sustain ourselves with a minimum of assistance from the community. We are very grateful to those who regularly support us, but this building project is going to require a lot of money, and we don’t have a lot of time, so if anyone is interested in investing the money needed or a group of individuals is willing to front this project (and be repaid at a later date), it would be most appreciated. We are seeking financial assistance and donations of certain building materials as well. Fund raising will be ongoing and the specific details of these plans and the building materials needed will be announced as soon as we are ready.”

    Saga Humane Society takes this opportunity to thank everyone who assisted their organization in attaining the land, and achieving all of its goals. Anyone wishing to support Saga’s efforts may contact Saga at 226-3266 or Eileen Jamison at 226-3905. Persons needing additional information on the Society may visit Saga’s web site at www.ambergriscaye.com/sagasociety or E-mail them at saga@btl.net.



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