New Weeki Wachee shelter gives animals a second chance

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WEEKI WACHEE – People who walk into Royal Animal Rescue are greeted almost immediately by a 20-year-old orange cat.

The rescue group, which is attaining state recognition as a nonprofit organization, recovers dogs and cats that otherwise might not survive.

Tucked away on a rural limestone road off Hexam Road, Royal Animal Rescue has an average of about 30 dogs and 15 cats at a given time.

The organization, which previously was in Citrus County, opened its Hernando County facility this month. There are three employees and many volunteers, and the rescue has completed 10 adoptions in the last two weeks.

“There’s only so much work you can do during the day,” said kennel manager Ivan Byler, emphasizing the importance of volunteers.

Byler said the shelter needs people willing to spend time with the animals – especially those dogs and cats that are unsocialized – and foster families.

Animals leave the shelter fully vetted, said RJ Fontana, who oversees volunteers and fosters. Fontana said the organization frequently offers adoptions at various Pet Supermarket stores in central Florida.

Royal Animal Rescue is at 11493 Ehrenwald Drive in Weeki Wachee. The shelter is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Saturday. Royal Animal Rescue can be reached by telephone at (352) 596-4776 or by email at royalanimalrescue

wbiddlecombe@hernandotoday .com

(352) 544-5283