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An Angel's wish: More room for animals at humane society

An Angel's wish: More room for animals at humane society

The Pensacola Humane Society is a no-kill shelter tucked away beneath the oaks below the Navy Boulevard overpass. With so many animals, they've far outgrown the limited space. Their new year's wish is for a new facility as big as the hearts of their volunteers, like Regina Smolensky.

"I'm mainly a dog walker, but anything else they need to be done...I'm more than happy to do it," she said.

Regina Smolensky is one of those tried and true faithful volunteers at the Pensacola Humane Society. You will always find her here on weekends. The staff will tell you she's totally committed.

For Regina, this was the perfect place to volunteer.

"It's been over 12 years ago that I've been here. I've been here a long time. And, I just wanted something to do on the weekends. I'm a teacher and I have a little bit of extra time," she said.

As for those other duties she gladly undertakes when they need to be done; that list of potential things is endless. Volunteers help with everything from event planning, to kennel cleaning, to paperwork, to repairs and construction. Humane Society Executive Director Jennifer Bitner said she can't put a price tag on their services.

"We could not do the work that we do on a daily basis, seven days a week, without people like Regina," Jennifer said.

Regina had a heart for animals when she came here, but it has been softened all the more by the things she has seen and experienced. In her daily travels, she now instinctively searches the roadways.

"To see sometimes some of the animals that are just unwanted. You know, you see them on the side of the street. When you see that animal that hasn't been fed; you know, skinny, you know, maybe something has happened to it. It just breaks your heart," she said.

The Humane Society is only equipped to handle about 75 animals. On any given day, there's a need to house quadruple that number. That need is topping Regina's New Year's wish list for the agency.

"A bigger facility is number one," Regina said.

Jennifer has dreams of what they would do with such a place.

"To have different, larger play yards, agility courses; all that things that we could offer. I've seen these tremendous catios where cats have free roaming space; indoor, outdoor. I mean, the things that we could do if we had more space," she said.

The hope is that someone out there who shares their passion for these animals would donate land so they can build that larger place. While they're waiting to be adopted, it would be a place with more warm beds, more meals, move love, more walks with angels like Regina Smolensky.

Angels In Our Midst is sponsored by Nemours Children's Specialty Care.

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