Lake Martin Animal Sanctuary needs more space to help abandoned pets

File / The Outlook

The Lake Martin Animal Sanctuary is planning to expand with a new six-kennel facility in Eclectic, according to director Jennie Zinn. Above, Zinn is pictured with Penelope the pot-bellied pig, one of more than 100 animals that the sanctuary has reported rescuing.

Lake Martin Animal Sanctuary will be tripling its intake in six months with a new facility, according to founder Jennie Zinn.

Zinn said she and her husband Chris closed on a 10-acre property Thursday morning where they will live in addition to building a new kennel facility.

Since January 2017, Zinn has been running the foster-based rescue out of the garage in her Eclectic home.

“In three years, we have rescued more than 100 dogs with just two kennels in my garage and three people fostering for me,” Zinn said. “I wanted to take it a little further and have a building just for the kennels. I thought if I could do what I was doing with my house and our little resources, I could triple that with a separate building.”

Zinn said she and Chris sold their home at the beginning of August to pursue the opportunity to buy property with more land to build the facility in addition to a residence.

The new building is planned to be 1,200 square feet, Zinn said, and will initially house six kennels with room for more kennels in the future. The kennels will be indoor-outdoor with a doggie door to allow each dog to access its individual outside area. Zinn said she plans to also build additional outside runs to bring the dogs for playtime and exercise.

Zinn said running the sanctuary has been made possible by donations and fundraising and the new facility will bring an increase in expenses.

“We’re going to have power and water bills and 24/7 expenses that I normally don’t have,” Zinn said. “We will need more food and vet bills are going to cost more. On top of that too, people don’t understand I have to live my life too. If I decide to go out of town for even a few days, I have to board every animal. I have done that the past three years. It’s hundreds of dollars to board every animal.”

With the new facility, Zinn said she will be looking for any volunteers that can help handle the increased workload. She is also continuing to seek foster homes for dogs to keep helping as many animals as possible.

The new facility will be located on Dunn Adams Road in Eclectic. Lake Martin Area Sanctuary primarily serves Elmore, Coosa and Tallapoosa counties, although Zinn said she takes dogs from other areas as well depending on the situation.