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First Coast No More Homeless Pets operates along Norwood Avenue and intends to add a second clinic along Cassat Avenue.
Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Nov. 5, 201412:00 PM EST

First Coast No More Homeless Pets working on Cassat site

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First Coast No More Homeless Pets, a Jacksonville-based nonprofit whose mission is to end the killing of dogs and cats in shelters, wants to create a clinic, warehouse and offices in West Jacksonville at 464 Cassat Ave.

The nonprofit offers low-cost or free spay/neuter services; a low-cost veterinary clinic; adoption information; and more.

The city is reviewing plans for the nonprofit, based at 6817 Norwood Ave., to convert the 1.23-acre West Jacksonville site, at Cassat and Highway avenues, into a 10,100-square-foot clinic, a 12,300-square-foot warehouse and 3,150 square feet of offices.

J. Lucas & Associates Inc. is the civil engineer.

Founder and Executive Director Rick DuCharme said the nonprofit intends to purchase the bank-owned Cassat property Nov. 21 and immediately start renovations toward a July opening. DuCharme said the property’s purchase price is $500,000 and the total investment upon opening would be about $2.3 million. The property is owned by Wells Fargo Bank, who has assigned it to ATC Realty One LLC.

He said The Jacksonville Bank has agreed to issue a mortgage and he also is working with the city’s Northwest Jacksonville Economic Development Fund for partial financing.

However, First Coast No More Homeless Pets still needs funding to complete the project.

DuCharme said supporter Joseph A. Strasser has committed to a large donation, but the nonprofit still needs to raise about $200,000 for the total completion.

It would be a second location for the nonprofit, which intends to operate both centers seven days a week.

The fcnmhp.com site says that when the nonprofit began its programs in 2002, more than 23,000 animals were dying in local shelters. It says that number has plummeted about 90 percent to 2,150.

It also says shelter admissions have been cut in half as part of the goal to make Duval County a no-kill area.

The nonprofit said it provided 31,125 spay and neuter surgeries from Oct. 1, 2013, through Sept. 30, 2014, up 23 percent from 25,368 the prior year.

First Coast No More Homeless Pets owns its Norwood Avenue site. It comprises a 12,870-square-foot medical clinic and 4,000-square-foot warehouse.

DuCharme said the expansion will allow the nonprofit to expand its low-cost veterinary services to include additional treatments not available at the Norwood location.

He said that would include in-house treatment of contagious disease with two isolation suites. The Cassat location also would provide a full dental suite, radiology and two surgery suites for operations other than spay/neuter. He said all spay/neuter services will continue to be done at Norwood.

“Our goal is to be able to help all pets in need regardless of their owners’ ability to pay,” he said.

[email protected]

@MathisKb

(904) 356-2466

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