One of the city’s oldest gathering places is on the verge of becoming St. Lucie County’s only “pet friendly” emergency shelter.
The city received a $779,712 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to rebuild the Ravenswood Community Center on Prima Vista Boulevard up to Category 5 hurricane standards.
The center, built more than 20 years ago, will be designed to withstand hurricane force winds of up to 200 mph and will provide shelter for at least 100 animals, if not more, and their owners, said Public Works Director Donald Freedland.
St. Lucie County spokesman Erick Gill said providing emergency shelter for pets during hurricanes has been a big issue in the county. Other than the special needs shelter, the county uses schools for shelters and has not been able to identify money for possible locations for a pet shelter, Gill said.
The city expects to seek bids on the project in the next 30 days and start construction in the summer. The center should be completed by the summer of 2011, Cunningham said.