About 75 supporters of Donte's Den gathered on June 30 to turn the first official dirt on the land that will become a true community of joyful dogs. Donte's Den founder, Marsha Panuce, led the ceremony during which she thanked everyone who has supported the organization, including her late husband, Don, and one of her late standard Schnauzers, Donte, after which Donte's Den is named.
"The concept for Donte's Den started in my head and it has lived in my heart for years - now it's becoming a reality," Panuce said.
At this groundbreaking, golden shovels were paired with golden pooper-scoopers.
Construction on Donte's Den will continue throughout the summer and by winter 2015, the 50 acres of pristine Florida countryside in Myakka City will become home to dozens of dogs. Dogs living at Donte's Den will include dogs whose owners have passed away or entered a long-term care facility, dogs whose owners are serving in the U.S. military and homeless and abandoned dogs.