Suffolk Humane opens new office

Published 8:30 pm Saturday, June 23, 2012

Director of Community Outreach Kay Hurley says the Suffolk Humane Society’s new office, on Nansemond Parkway at Driver, is well located to draw attention to the organization and the cause it serves promoting a caring attitude toward animals.

Thanks to support from the community — one member of it in particular — the Suffolk Humane Society has moved into impressive new digs in a prime location in Driver.

The building at 4300 Nansemond Parkway is owned by Alison Dodson, a well-known North Suffolk retailer.

Dodson has supported the society with what Director of Community Outreach Kay Hurley described as “a long-term, low-cost lease” on the building.

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Suffolk Humane had been in another Driver location, a little more tucked away, and was obliged to find a new office when the owner needed that space back.

Dodson, whose business’ mission statement stresses community mindedness, had fielded a couple of other inquiries about her vacant Driver building before Suffolk Humane approached her.

“We just helped them out and discounted their rent as much as we could,” Dodson said. “For us, it was really about giving them a home in Suffolk for what they do. They will get great visibility.”

“We’re very grateful … and obviously we didn’t expect her to do that,” Hurley said.

The cozy office building includes a meet-and-greet room, an area housing rescued cats and kittens destined for the society’s “adoptathon” events, and general office space.

“We adopt them from (Suffolk) Animal Control and make sure they’re happy and social,” Hurley said of the felines, which appeared to have settled in well by the time of the office grand opening Saturday.

“Now people have somewhere they can drop off donations, whether money or pet food or other items. With a central location, it certainly makes it helpful; it gives us a lot of visibility.”

The society refurbished the building before moving in. “A lot of people did things for us at a discount (and) donated their labor and services,” Hurley said. “It all came together as a real team and community effort.”

Suffolk Humane President Michele Thames predicted the new location would help the society help animals.

“We have been doing everything through emails, which makes it kind of difficult,” she said.