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Amelia Islander

Penny & John Landregan

Oct 06, 2014 02:07PM
Penny and John Landregan, both originally from Jacksonville and now living on Amelia Island, have thrown their passion and energy into the Nassau Humane Society. The Landregans have lived in many places, but when it came time to retire, they knew that Amelia Island was their choice. John’s successful career with General Electric provided him with valuable management experience, which he has brought to his volunteer work here. The Landregans were quick to get involved in their new community and they offered their talents to a variety of non-profits, including Take Stock In Children, Turtle Watch, the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival Committee, and the Nassau Humane Society.

Take Stock in Children has been a special part of the Landregans life. John made a commitment to Dominic Jones when Dominic was 13 years old. Serving as his advocate, John proudly watched as Dominic’s academic success was balanced with similar success on both the high school football and basketball teams. The talented young man was awarded a full athletic scholarship to The Citadel. The Citadel requires that all those on athletic scholarships meet the same academic standards expected of all students. Dominic graduated in 2013 with a degree in Civil Engineering, the first in his family to graduate from college. He is now employed by an engineering firm in Charleston.

John started volunteering for the Nassau Humane Society in 2004. At that time, the Humane Society was located at the Nassau Animal Control Shelter in Yulee. He volunteered to help with dogs—walking them, cleaning up after them, whatever was needed. On weekends, he helped with adoption efforts at PetSmart in Jacksonville. After joining the board in 2005, he has served as treasurer, vice president, and now president for three years. He has helped the organization navigate some difficult challenges.

The Nassau Humane Society has benefited greatly from Penny and John’s contagious enthusiasm. They are quick to share that the volunteers in the shelter, dog park, and store are the organization’s lifeblood. No one hesitates to commit sweat equity by volunteering at the dog park, walking dogs, or helping in the shelter. Since its founding in 1988, Nassau Humane Society has found new homes and new lives for thousands of homeless dogs and cats. As a no-kill shelter, it provides food and medical care for the abandoned, the abused, the surrendered, and the rescued. The mostly volunteer organization strives daily to bring people and pets together, enriching the lives of both.

When you visit the Second Chance resale shop on South Fourteenth Street, you’ll find plenty of great merchandise, as well as a display screen with a slideshow of all the adoptable dogs and cats currently available at the shelter. Penny had a very successful consignment shop in Louisville, the Landregans’ last stop before returning to Florida. When she started volunteering with the shelter, she organized the popular “Flea and Tick” sale for the Humane Society. It became so large and challenging that Penny decided the shelter would benefit from opening its own re-sale shop. Since its opening in January 2012, the store has helped raise much-needed funds for the shelter.

After years in a greatly outdated shelter, happy days are here. The new facility recently opened, which features a modern Animal Rescue Center for the Amelia Island community. John was instrumental in securing a $500,000 commitment from the city, which allowed the project to go forward. The new shelter provides a humane environment for homeless animals in our community until they find new homes. Dog kennel space has increased by forty percent, and the new cattery has greatly expanded space for the forty or so cats in the shelter’s care, as well as more private areas for less social cats and kittens. “The Nassau Humane Society would not be in the great position we are today without John and Penny’s leadership,” says Tom Christenson, newly appointed executive director of the Nassau Humane Society. “The time and energy they have given to the Humane Society are priceless.”

Penny and John share their home with a Drake, a black lab, and Sasha, a border collie mix. Both were rescued from the Humane Society shelter. They join a legion of dedicated volunteers and staff in celebrating the opening of the Nassau Humane Society’s new shelter. If you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to stop by for a visit.