OWENS CROSS ROADS, Ala. - After only about a year and a half, the Felines and Canines Rescue Center is in the home stretch to opening its doors to the surplus of animals in the Tennessee Valley.
Although, it wouldn't be possible without the hard work of non-profit's team as well as some generous donors.
Only two weeks stand between the facility and the grand opening.
Some generous donors, like Candy Stephenson, made the center a reality.
"A friend of mine told me about what was happening here in Huntsville with Felines and Canines and asked me if I'd like to go to a meeting, which I said 'Of course I would,'" said Stephenson.
After an immediate connection to the mission of the rescue center, Stephenson says she was hooked.
She helped get the word out, served on the board of the center and eventually, the Stephenson family made a generous donation of $100,000.
But Candy says it's not about them. It's about a safe place for dogs and cats in the valley.
"We are really reinventing rescue," said Stephenson. "I've always had a soft spot for animals and everyone in my family has and so it was a perfect fit for me to be a part of this."
The Stephenson family has another connection to the rescue center. It will be named after their son.
"Our son's name was Hunter Stephenson," said Candy Stephenson.
Hunter passed away at just 16-years-old, after taking prescription drugs at a party. Candy says this rescue center will be named in his memory.
"He had a zest for life, he loved people, he loved animals, he loved sports, he just really loved life. I think this will make him very happy and I know he knows," said Stephenson.
Candy says this is the perfect way to memorialize Hunter and his love for animals.