New name, same mission
Furburbia received about 14 homeless puppies Thursday at its adoption agency at Kimball Junction.
"Once a week we get a notice of all the animals on death row from different shelters, because we’re no-kill," said Friends of Animals of Utah Executive Director Cathy King.
The group, which recently changed its name from Summit County Friends of Animals, rescues pets in Summit, Wasatch, Salt Lake and Tooele counties, King explained.
"These animals don’t have a chance because these other shelters just bring in so many animals," she said.
More than 2,400 pets were destroyed last year at a shelter in West Valley City, King said.
"When [Friends of Animals] was founded in the mid-’90s, we never envisioned the growth we have seen over the last decade," King said. "Having rescued and re-homed thousands of animals all over the state, and even helped out with rescue efforts in other parts of the country, it is only fitting that our new name encompasses more than just the county in which we are located."
King hopes the moniker attracts more donations for the nonprofit, which adopted out 858 animals in the Snyderville Basin in 2008.
"Many people like to keep their donation dollars local, and assumed we only helped animals in Summit County," she said. "That hasn’t been the case for many years, and we hope our new name will encourage potential donors to see the good work we do around the state and consider contributing."
The group has rescued animals from a shelter in Heber for four years, she said.
"We help the adoptable animals," King said. "Unfortunately, if there’s an animal that can’t be adopted out, it would sit at Furburbia for years Any healthy, adoptable animal will not be put down."
Homeless pets are currently housed at Furburbia at Tanger Outlet Center.
"We’re limited on how many animals we can let into our program," King said.
But many more pets will be rescued when the group completes its 15,000-square-foot rehabilitation facility in Brown’s Canyon east of Park City.
"The weather has been our friend this winter," King said. "The roof is on and they’re putting the sides up."
The new center could open next fall and begin providing emergency-rescue services for larger animals like horses, she said.
"With this facility, we’ll be able to keep these healthy animals until there is room at Furburbia to adopt them out, and we will be able to help out a lot more," King said.
A spay/neuter program at the facility will provide the expensive sterilization surgeries at a reduced cost, King said.
"We are going to do a low- and no-cost spay/neuter program," she said. "A lot of people can’t afford $125 We will cover the cost of that surgery knowing that by spaying and neutering we’re going to have less puppies and kittens to deal with in our shelters."
Furburbia had "65 cats at one time" in 2008, King said.
"We had a horrible problem with kittens last year," she said.
Still, the number of pets adopted from Furburbia in 2008 increased from the year before.
"In the economy that we have, a lot of people were taking their animals to the shelters because they couldn’t afford to keep them," King said. "We actually did better in 2008 than in 2007 with our numbers."
Contact Furburbia at 649-5441 for information about adopting a homeless pet.
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After a ski season cut short by the coronavirus pandemic, action will soon return to Park City’s mountains.