The building has definitely been a game-changer for our rescue. Not only did it get all the animals out of our house lol but it gives us a place for visitors to come and a place to teach classes. We've had a number of homeschool classes come and we hope to do even more in 2022.
The building is 1500 sq ft and it filled up immediately! We have been operating at capacity for months. We were even over capacity after a large surrender and had to use the old snake building as quarantine for a while. We're happy to say we no longer have snakes in that overflow area.
Looking ahead at 2022, we really want a year off from building projects but I'm not sure that will happen. The iguana building is the oldest space on the property and needs major upgrades. In reality, we really need a whole new building to build better iguana enclosures. We also need to expand the tortoise area again as most of the juveniles are getting too old to house together. We've been getting in so many tortoises lately that we've even adopted one out recently. We will continue to be very picky and selective when it comes to adopting out sulcatas but it may be something we need to do so we can continue to help as many as possible.
The biggest news for 2022 is that Tesla, the tegu, has retired from public events. Tesla was taken in by another rescue when he was young and then passed along to us when they closed. He has spent his entire life educating people of all ages. He has done amazing things with his life but being a beloved public figure is a stressful life for a tegu. We estimate Tesla to be around 14 years old. So it's time for him to retire and spend his days lounging under his lights and relaxing as king of the house. He'll still be seen here at the rescue and may do a few classes here but for the most part he will spend the rest of his days living the spoiled, lazy lizard life. His younger brother Kilo will be taking his place at events. Kilo isn't very fond of them yet but he's getting a lot better.
Fresh Start Rescue Inc officially incorporated in mid 2017. Since that time we've gone from a handful of iguanas to an average of 150 animals at any given time. Our name and reputation is known throughout the US and even in a few other countries. We've built a beautiful new facility and educational trailer, and our event calendar is booked solid for 8 months out of the year. But above all, our biggest accomplishment for 2021 is that we've found wonderful, loving homes for well over 100 animals this year. We can't wait to see what 2022 brings for Fresh Start Rescue Inc.
As of last week we finally got AC in the building. We ended up doing a DIY mini split that really wasn't hard to install at all thanks to our wonderful electrician. The only thing we don't have yet is a sink. The plumber that we thought we had backed out of the project so we're looking for someone new. It's definitely inconvenient but not a game stopper. We're in the process of moving all the animals into the building, upgrading enclosures and trying to figure out how to organize them all. It's a lot harder than it sounds! But we did qualify for a grant this year that let us spend a good amount of money on upgrading enclosures so it's really starting to look amazing in there - pictures to come soon!
We were hoping to be moved into the new building by this time. Unfortunately, we've hit a snag with our air conditioning. We had one company lined up for months, when it came time to do it they stopped answering our calls. We then had another person who was going to help but now he is busy with a new job. As of today, we have someone out of town who can get us the system we need at cost but we still have no leads on someone to install it.
Once our sink gets hooked up next week, the building will be done except for the HVAC. It's so hot here in the summer that without a proper HVAC system, there is no way we can keep animals in the building. So now we're just waiting. While we're waiting, we're trying to get all the items we'll need to move in (see our Amazon wishlist). We want to make sure that as soon as we get the HVAC installed, we can move right in with no further delays.
We want to thank everyone who has donated to the building and everyone who has bought a ceiling tile! These tiles are so much fun!! One of our volunteers got her high school art club to help design the first set and they came out so much better than we ever expected!! You can still purchase a ceiling tile on our Store page!
This weekend the Easter bunny brought us some great guys to put wall framing into the building. It's just the very first step but its a step forward. We're so excited! The next thing we need to do is add more electrical and AC, and then the guys can come back to put up the insulation, walls and ceiling.
Help us build with a new fundraiser!
We plan to add a tile ceiling before we move into the building. We wanted to do something fun so we've created our "repTILE Fundraiser"! Buy a ceiling tile, let us know what to paint on the tile, and help us finish this building before summer!
Buy a tile for someone's birthday or a holiday gift, in memory of a family member or pet, in the family or business name, in the name of your current beloved pet, or just to see your name up there! Click the button to go right to our store listing for more info!
The new building now has power! We're so excited to finally feel like we're moving forward. Getting power means we can start to do the inside. There is still so much to do before we can move in. We have everyone lined up to work on it, but as usual we're just lacking some funding. Our followers have been very generous with us the past few months and we have enough to get started at least. If you can spare a few dollars, it will go a long way to helping us get into this new building. We want to plan a huge open house when we do finally get moved in!
Or see our Building Fundraiser button the on the home page.
Make sure you send your name and email in the donation notes! You can also have it sent to a friend. Certificates will go out in email as soon as 25 orders are reached.
The cement tested okay so we had the diamond grinder go over it to help smooth it out. Then the metal building was constructed and the epoxy was applied to the floor. Honestly, the epoxy bubbled up so much it looks horrible but it was free and I'm tired of dealing with the company so once we get all the cages in and maybe a few runners on the floor, hopefully we wont notice it much.
Tomorrow the electrician comes out to start the electrical. He'll put in the meter base, the fuse box and lights. After that I can call Duke and they can run the electrical to the building so we have power! I cant tell you how exciting it will be to have power!!
Hopefully, February will bring HVAC, insulation, and walls! Fingers crossed!! There is still so much to do and a lot of fundraising that needs to happen but we're finally moving in the right direction.
The cement was poured on Monday 11/23. It was exciting to watch it go down and watch the guys smooth it out. Unfortunately, it didn't set like it was supposed to. It's hard now but the surface is ruined. The finisher has been talking to the concrete company and they will be fixing it. However, now we need to wait for them to test the strength to decide if it needs to be completely pulled up or just capped. Either way it will set us back a few weeks as we cannot even get on the schedule for the building delivery until the concrete is correct. We're only on step one and we're already over budget and behind schedule!
We've been furiously raising money this year to expand our facility. There have been so many reptiles turned in this year that we're just out of space! The rescue started out being run out of our home and that is just not sustainable anymore.
This week the foundation is being poured for our brand new rescue building. A huge 30x50 metal building where we can consolidate all the animals, have a food prep area, a proper office, store some of our store inventory, breed our feeder insects, and - best of all - have the public out to meet the animals! We look forward to being able to have more volunteers and making caring for all these animals easier.
We still need your help though. We've saved enough for the foundation and the building but now we have to get electrical and insulation and walls and so much more. Please consider donating to our fundraiser, this building will never happen without your help!