Cape Coral Animal Shelter looks to expand, meet growing need

A nonprofit is ready to expand a little more than a year after starting up.

There is a business boom happening in Cape Coral, and Cape Coral Animal Shelter is a prime example. It’s asking the city for more room.

When Jack Bowman adopted his dog, Tasha, from the shelter, it was love at first sight.

“Saw a picture of her and came over to look at her and took her home with me,” Bowman said. “I am a widow, so she’s everything to me. I’ve got a lot of grandkids, but she’s the one that’s home with me all the time.”

Joan Elardo, the shelter founder and president, says the need to help animals find forever homes continues.

“Florida has a lot of transient people as well, and a lot of times when people move, they don’t take their animal with them,’ Elardo said. “So we are getting a lot of owner surrenders in the area.”

To keep up with the growth, Elardo wants to expand her space for the animals.

It would be located on 1.5 acres that sits next to the current shelter.

Elardo says it’ll allow her to begin the second and third phase of expansion sooner than she hoped.

“Phase two will be developing a much larger building,” Elardo said. “We’re hoping for a minimum of 10,000 square feet, and phase three will expand our shelter.”

CCAS says it’s adopted more than 1,000 animals in its first year. The shelter is entirely run on donations, which the shelter says will be needed in order to expand.

“More kennel space means more animals that we can take in and more animals we can find homes for, the clinic too,” said Melanie Waite, the director of operations at CCAS. “Once we get the clinic up and open, we’ll be able to see double the animals we’re seeing now, which is really needed.”

Reporter:Brea Hollingsworth
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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