In 2017, Hurricane Maria destroyed our shelter of 50 years at Estate Clifton Hill. Luckily, all our animals had been evacuated off-island the day before. Our original plan was to rebuild at Clifton Hill, but after going through the permitting process, we discovered the property had never been zoned correctly for an animal shelter. Stuck in a zoning quagmire, we decided to switch gears and purchase the Castle Coakley great-house property. We closed in March 2022!
Castle Coakley is zoned correctly and has been lovingly renovated over the past several years. The 5.5 acre property consists of a Great House, a smaller carriage house, two sugar mills, other historical ruins, as well as beautiful gardens and land. The Great House will be converted into our low-cost community clinic, surgery center, and offices. The carriage house will be our intake and adoptions center, and we will build a brand new kennel building!
Also in the plans are a community dog park, walking trails, a puppy play yard—the possibilities are limitless! We are also collaborating with CHANT to develop a historical walking tour through the property in order to make this important piece of Virgin Islands history accessible to the whole community.
A leaking roof, mold, AC issues as well as space limitations have made our current 5 Corners location inadequate for the needs of our shelter animals and staff. However, we cannot afford to put our very limited resources into a building we do not own: we need to move to Castle Coakley as soon as possible! Funding for some of our renovations and buildings will be covered by a FEMA rebuild grant, but we will urgently need to raise funds for many uncovered expenses. We have named this fundraising effort Mission Coakley: SOS (Save Our Shelter) and aim to raise $500,000 over the next year! We hope to begin Castle Coakley’s construction by this summer, move into the low-cost clinic by the end of 2022 and the entire shelter by this time next year (March 2023). It’s ambitious, but with the support of our amazing community, we can make it happen!
Please donate to this effort and help us move!