Tom Christenson talks to the Club about the Nassau County Humane Society
The Fernandina Beach Rotary Club recently welcomed club member and Nassau County Humane Society Executive Director Tom Christenson. Christenson, who has been with the organization only six months, said he came on board at an exciting time with the recent opening of the new 11,004-square-foot adoption facility. He said the new center is a tremendous improvement over the original one, which the city of Fernandina Beach donated to the Humane Society when it began providing animal control for all of Nassau County in 1988. Although the group no longer handles animals outside of the city limits, Christenson said they still have taken in some 948 animals so far this year and adopted out 748. The new facility has increased the number of dog kennels from 25 to 64 and nearly doubled the cattery. The facility is a “No Kill” shelter. No animal is ever euthanized because of lack of space or adoptability – only if it is too ill or injured to survive. In fact, Christenson said, one of the resident cats has been with them for seven years. In addition to its adoption center, the organization offers numerous enrichment programs for pets and their people, including its popular dog park, classes to educate people on the responsibilities of pet ownership and no- or low-cost pet food and spay/neuter programs. Christenson noted that they handle more than just domestic pets, saying they still provide animal control for the city and have captured and relocated everything from possums, to alligators and even the occasional bobcat.