JUPITER, Fla. - — About 100 dogs and cats are being removed from Safe Harbor Animal Sanctuary and Hospital after volunteers said they received an eviction notice at the Indiantown Road animal clinic.
"It's going to be really tough on the animals," said Linda Dean, a fulltime volunteer at the sanctuary.
The 60 cats and 40 dogs will be taken to the clinic's facility in Palm City, Dean said.
The center is about $30,000 behind in its rent, according to Taylor Roca, the operations manager.
The owner of Cromwell Realty, the property manager, said that Safe Harbor has been behind in its rent for about a year.
"We are trying to work with them as best we can," said Henry Cromwell, the owner of Cromwell Realty.
The administrative offices at the clinic and thrift store will remain open, Dean said. The areas being closed are the overflow section for dogs, adoption section for cats and the surgical area where operations are performed.
Safe Harbor officials will make room at the present facility for a new surgical area.
Officials are vacating about 3,000 square feet of the center, about a third of the facility.
There are 32 employees, 18 fulltime and 14 parttime. Several of the employees in recent weeks have complained that they have not been paid. Some have filed a lawsuit with Palm Beach County Legal Aid to receive back paychecks, according to Kathleen Geary, the adoption manager. Geary said she has only received two paychecks in the three months she has worked at Safe Harbor.
"I got my car taken away because I could not make the payments. Luckily, I was able to get it back," she said.
Wellington resident and vendor to the center, Bryan Miller, was at the center this morning and made a $2,600 donation when he heard that the center was in financial trouble.
"The community and pet owners really need to step up and help Safe Harbor. Now is the time they really need our help," Miller said.
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