August, 2000: Pam Perez & Heidi Krupp attended Best Friends Animal Sanctuary to learn how to operate a Sanctuary for cats and dogs. SFAS was incorporated to take in the abandoned in the Florida Parishes of LA. During the next 6 months, Pam (SFAS President) & Heidi (SFAS Director) rescued 86 animals on their personal property in Abita Springs, LA.
A visionary animal lover, Leslie Collins, donated a down-payment for 24 acres in Tylertown, MS for the permanent Sanctuary.
2002: Ron Stoessell paid off the sanctuary’s mortgage and a group of volunteers began planning construction. A tornado was our 1st Visitor causing major destruction. Board Members: Pam, Heidi, Judy Pfister, Leslie Rowland, Diana Dailey, Ron Stoessell & Londi Moore spent several months removing trees and debris.
2004: (Home to 300) Londi Moore, our volunteer builder, along with all of the good friends above plus another 30 good friends & 3 businesses that donated time & materials: Bayview Construction & Mexican Tile By Gene Riddle, converted a pole barn into SFAS’ first permanent haven for dogs; Diana’s Haven.
Forty dogs rescued from death and euthanasia found a home in Diana’s Haven. Once Diana’s Haven was opened, Heidi set up temporary housing (with lots of mice!) in an old Milking Barn. By September, SFAS was home to more than 100 dogs.
In the fall of 2004, a Director’s Cottage was completed and Heidi finally had a home.
The McDonough Foundation granted funds to build Kitty Villages to provide permanent homes for cats. A mortgage was taken out on the adjacent 24 acres to increase the size of SFAS.
2005: Animal Population soars to above 400.Hurricane Katrina devastated SE LA and the Gulf Coast. SFAS became an operational center for dozens of local & national rescue organizations. Over 4000 animals were brought through the doors of SFAS in 9 months.
2006, 2007, & 2008: Animal Population intake spans yearly b/t 400 & 600 that would have been euthanized or killed.
SFAS has struggled during these years to find funding to replace our private donor support base mangled by Katrina. So many were displaced and lost everything. Our focus has been month to month staying open and following our mission. Monthly donations do not always cover the costs associated with caring for so many animals but we are still here serving!
August, 2008: we lost our beloved Heidi to cancer. Her vision still leads SFAS.
May, 2009: Londi Moore was appointed to serve as the new SFAS Executive Director.
August, 2009: SFAS opens St. Francis Animal Sanctuary’s Thrift Store in Old Mandeville, LA.
A strategic alliance was formed with Logan’s Run Rescue in North Carolina to move animals to rescues in the Northeast and Canada. At present SFAS is home to over 400 animals on 48 acres with 7 full-time & 6 part-time employees.