Monday, June 28, 2010

Grand opening of the Rescue and Rehab Ranch

For Friends of Animals Utah, it's been four years in the making. The adoption center (Furburbia) has been cranking out about 800 adoptions a year, but this new facility will allow us to step everything up a notch. We can handle more animals, offer more education programs, provide spay and neuter clinics, and more.



Like most big projects, things don't come together as smoothly as you might like. The last week was a combination of frantic, constant, harried, and impossible. Somehow, literally cranking through the last few minutes, the place became clean, polished and ready to show.

On Friday night we had a private celebration with some of the bigger donors and others who played a big role in making this facility happen. On Saturday we had the big public opening. The ranch is about 10 miles outside Park City and 1.5 miles down a dirt road, so you never know how many people might show. The answer is many hundreds. Cars were parked all the way around the building and up the entry road and the flow of people was constant for the four hours of the opening.



The ribbon cutting was handled by a 7-month old adopted dog. He had a bit of performance anxiety with so many people and dogs watching him. He came through quite well though.



As part of the fund raising, you could (and still can) buy a brick with your saying on it, and it is installed as part of the back patio. They did a great job and it looks very nice.



Of course if you really want to make a permanent statement, you can have a tattoo.



There are two caretakers suites in the building. At least one of the caretakers is there every night. The suites are fairly small one bedroom apartments, but they are nicely done.



... and the kitchen. Almost everything was donated: cabinets, furniture, lights, ... It is handy to be near Park City, where even the hand-me-downs are high quality.



This is the big indoor play area, known as the mosh pit. There is a fence offering separation from the big energetic dogs and the little or older dogs.



The ranch is still a few weeks from being populated by pets. For show, the Furburbia gang brought a collection of cats. They immediately fell in love with the cat play room. If you double-click on the picture, you'll see cats in the wall boxes. Two kittens are hidden in the lime green box on the right. One kitten decided to adopt the orange and white cat and kept snuggling up with him.



Amber preferred the hammocks and anything that kept her away from the three wild kittens.



Lots of people brought their dogs to see the place and they were wonderfully well behaved. At the end of the day though, the sensory overload was just a bit too much for some.



The facility is awesome. The grand opening went better than any of us expected. Julie handled the PR and we got some great newspaper articles and coverage from the Salt Lake ABC station.

After a two or three day break, it will be time to get back and finish the work so that the ranch goes into "production". Part of that will involve finding all the things we hid in the last few hours to make the place look so nice.
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