MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WKRN) – Rising costs and high inflation have caused the indefinite hold for a passion project for the Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary, the organization has announced.
Earlier this year, Zina and Michael Goodin were hoping to break ground on the newest phase of their senior dog sanctuary, Flo’s Front Porch. The brand new canine community hoped to house dogs directly from their owners, instead of through rescue operations and shelters, like the primary sanctuary. They’d hoped to break ground in August.
But by the end of July, a spokesperson said they were still waiting for a final estimate from the contractor and had to postpone construction a couple months.
“When we did finally receive [the estimate] at the end of September, it was an exorbitant 60% more than the initial estimate,” said Noel Kiswiney, OFSDS Assistant Director of Marketing.
The explosive increase in cost was shocking to the sanctuary, and the Goodins decided to put the project on an indefinite hold and focus their efforts back to their primary mission: helping aging senior dogs live out their lives as pain-free and happy as possible.
“The concept of Flo’s Front Porch has been a dream of Zina & Michael’s for many years, and our team has been so excited to bring it to life, so there was a definite sadness to have to put the project on hold,” Kiswiney said. “However, we all recognized that we first and foremost have a responsibility to our current (and future) residents and want to focus on remaining sustainable for them.”
Construction costs have only risen, particularly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent supply chain issues. More recently, rising inflation has exacerbated the problem, as have ongoing labor shortages. The Goodins and Old Friends are the latest victims of the issues.
Additionally, overall donations to the sanctuary are down, which Kiswiney said the organization believes is likely a side effect of the ongoing rise in inflation and the lack of disposable income that happens.
Because the project was still in its infancy, no money had been collected for the residential spots, Kiswiney told News 2.
“We wanted to wait to open enrollment until we had officially broken ground, so we never collected any enrollment/reservation fees,” she said. “In the same vein, we did not request or receive any donations specifically for this endeavor.”
Instead, all the potential “clients” the organization had been in discussions with about the project were informed and “disappointed but understanding of the reasoning.”