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Lake County Prepares To Break Ground On New No-Kill Shelter

A rendering of the new Lake County Animal Shelter. via Lake County County Commissioners
A rendering of the new Lake County Animal Shelter. via Lake County County Commissioners

Lake County is preparing to break ground on a new $7.8 million animal shelter. It’s a part of the county’s no-kill status.

The county wants to see nearly all of its animal adopted, not euthanized. That means it will need more space to hold animals as they await adoptions.

Construction on a new 31,000 square foot no-kill animal shelter in Tavares starts later this month.

This new building will have an open-air cat porch or catio, a dog viewing site, and an area where potential pet owners can get better acquainted with an animal.

Whitney Boylston, Lake County Animal Shelter Director, said the shelter ended last year at a 95 percent live release rate, which is slightly higher than 2017 when they first opened.

"We have been very successful in achieving live outcomes for the pets in our care. However, the challenges that we face in our current facility are extreme. So, we’re really looking forward to a new building where we can have a safer environment," Boylston said.

She said they’re committed to saving every life that they can.

"It’s really rewarding. It’s an amazing thing to see and we hope that other communities can follow suit in our area and recognize that it’s entirely possible and achievable to have a no-kill region," Boylston said.

Boylston said the new facility will aid in overcrowding issues and is being funded by the county’s penny sales tax.

The new Lake County animal shelter is expected to open by the end of this year.

After a brief stint as Morning Edition Producer at The Public’s Radio in Rhode Island, Talia Blake returned to Central Florida Public Media. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida with degrees in both Broadcast Journalism and Psychology. While at UCF, she was an intern for Central Florida’s public affairs show, Intersection. She joined on as Morning Edition Host in 2019. In 2022, Ms. Blake was appointed to the Florida Association of Broadcast Journalist’s board of directors.