Port Clinton, OH - When you walk in the doors of the Island Safe Harbor Animal Sanctuary, you'll see that the front room looks more like a tranquil massage studio than a animal rescue. Relaxing music plays through speakers on the wall.
The sanctuary represents a lifetime of work for retired nurse Nancy Bevento-Brown.
"When we moved to this area, I spoke with some of the local vets and they said, we really need an animal sanctuary Nancy, why don't you open one. I listened to them, and so here we are," explains Nancy.
She says that the money to open this no-kill shelter represents her pension from being a nurse. The second building located right next door was built with her life savings.
Nancy says, "This is the toughest thing I have ever done because it's emotional, it's financial, and the animals are involved and that's where my heart is."
But the sanctuary is in danger of closing. The operating cost exceeds $8,000 every month, however donations and grants bring in less than a quarter of that, anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 per month.
With more money going out than coming in, it's just a matter of time before all the animals won't have any place left to go.
Nancy says she always keeps the facility at capacity, "If I have an empty kennel, to me, that's a life I can save."
They have dry food, but can always use more canned for for dogs and cats, as well as cleaning supplies.
But most importantly, they need monetary donations to keep the lights on.
"We have our gas bill, and our credit cards, and everything else that has run up to take care of the animals," Nancy says. "And we're trying to keep our heads above water and it's very difficult right now."
Even as her rescue struggles financially, Nancy still thinks about what more she could do, because her buildings can only house about 45 animals. For now.
"Unless we go out and buy another kennel," Nancy says as she gives a coy smiles and laughs at the gesture.
She know that in order to do that, she must first worry about getting donations so the animals she already has, have a place to stay while waiting for a permanent home.