Fancy hats and finger sandwiches were the order of the day at The Gardenia E. Janssen Animal Shelter Gala in Round Top. The Derby Day-themed brunch held at Market Hill raised a total of $200,000 – the proceeds from which will be split between the facility’s operational expenses and a $1.6 million renovation and expansion project. 

The shelter broke ground this week on a new 3,500 square-foot expansion. A renovation of the existing 1,200 square-foot rescue center is also part of the plan. The upgraded facility will include isolation areas for both dogs and cats and a more efficiently designed cattery. The new cattery will include separate adoption rooms for kittens and cats and a catio/kittio for outdoor access and enrichment. The plan also incorporates a new meet and greet area for cats or dogs to interact with potential adopters. 

An overall upgrade to the canine kennel area will see the addition of four more kennels, new flooring and paint. An HVAC system will also be added to the dog kennels, and the canine play yard space will also be expanded with the addition of new fencing.

The shelter cares for an average of 64 felines and 37 canines in house each day. At last count, a total of 99 cats and 63 dogs were in its care. This includes foster animals, and those in need of medical care or transport.

“Our shelter operates about 90 percent on donations alone,” says executive director Teresa Brown. “For four years we have worked tirelessly and creatively to keep our care standards above par while setting aside funds toward the renovation and expansion effort. We are still raising funds for the renovation and expansion and currently sit about $600,000 short of our goal.”

The Gardenia E. Janssen Shelter cared for 1,597 dogs and cats and achieved a 97% rescue rate in 2023. The shelter is currently offering a Lifetime Naming Sponsorship Program that will honor donations in print, social media, and at the shelter. For more information about the life saving efforts of the shelter and to learn how you can help, please contact Teresa Brown at 979-702-8008, or visit their website, here.