Cat and dog lovers came out in full force last Saturday to celebrate the grand opening of Kitsap Humane Society’s Pet Adoption Center.
The new $6.2-million facility was open to the public for the first time, giving guests a chance to tour the building and even adopt a pet. A brief ceremony and ribbon cutting took place before the doors opened.
“We’re really excited for you to get to see just the massive change in the behavior of the animals and in their wellness,” Sarah Moody-Cook, director of Animal Welfare, said. “We have a lot of different options and flexibility when it comes to how we can house and care for animals.”
The pet adoption center was constructed next to the old shelter building at 9167 Dickey Road in Silverdale.
“This is really a historic occasion for Kitsap Humane Society and our community,” Executive Director Eric Stevens said. “This old shelter was built 30 years ago and it’s been overcrowded and outdated for a long time. The old building still felt like a ‘pound’ in many ways.”
The new building provides a much quieter and spacious place for the animals to relax and feel more comfortable, according to Stevens and Moody-Cook.
“You’ll see all the kennels are more spacious, there’s better ventilation and there’s better soundproofing in the dog kennel,” Stevens said.
“Over here (old building), we had 52 dogs with poor sound. Here, there’s no more than 10 dogs in a room. If the dogs are happier, more relaxed, less stressed, healthier, then they’re going to be more adoptable. That’s our goal.
“We have a lot of different options and flexibility when it comes to how we can house and care for animals,” Moody-Cook said.
“That’s really allowing us to tailor our plans and placement for those animals to meet their individual needs because every animal is an individual — and we really believe that above all things. This space allows us to meet their needs on an individual level because they are all different and all special.”
The idea of building a new shelter started in November 2016 when the board voted to begin a capital campaign to finance the construction of the new shelter due to major growth in the number of animals rescued and in the delivery of lifesaving services.
The Pet Lifesaving Capital Campaign has been entirely funded by donors. The new pet adoption center marks the completion of phase one. Phase two will include the renovation of the old shelter building for a new Canine Behavior Training Center and Veterinary Medical Center. The total cost of phase one and phase two is estimated at $10 million. Construction is expected to start in 2021, Stevens said.
“We’re not done, but I’m thrilled to be celebrating this grand opening today,” Stevens said.
Although the shelter had its official grand opening Saturday, it had already been open for a couple of weeks. Moody-Cook said the staff has already seen a positive impact on the animal’s behavior.
“We’ve seen dogs that previously we’re extremely stressed in their kennels to all of a sudden be relaxed and happy, and be able to take naps in the middle of the day instead of just constantly stress-panting and crying. We’ve seen cats who maybe weren’t coming out of their little hiding holes. We’ve seen animals get adopted more quickly just from being in this space because you can see their true, wonderful selves.”
Lastly, Stevens thanked everyone for their support and efforts in making this idea a reality.
“I just want to say how much we appreciate our animal-loving community. It’s our volunteers, it’s our staff, it’s our board, but in a way, it’s the people who come and adopt animals. We couldn’t do our work without thousands of people coming and taking animals home.