Strategic planning for our Designed to Be Kind capital campaign determined that a new Idaho Humane Society campus, with a central location, was our highest priority. The goal of the Designed to be Kind capital campaign is to create a community animal resource center that reflects our core humane values and augments our existing Dorman Street facility while expanding and improving our work in three major areas:
Our current Dorman Street shelter was built under now-antiquated animal sheltering standards to accommodate pets only for short-term stays. The new center will improve living conditions for animals sheltered by the Idaho Humane Society, providing larger home-like enclosures that are more secure and sanitary. That will keep shelter pets calm and healthy. Windows will bring sunlight to animal housing areas, and both dogs and cats will have access to the outdoors. Such habitat enrichment is especially important because an increasing amount of the Idaho Humane Society’s work involves providing training, socialization and medical care to animals that aren’t immediately “adoptable” when they arrive at the shelter.
The facility will also include visitor-friendly viewing areas, animal play areas and staff who are readily available to answer questions about adoption. These comfortable settings will make adopting an animal a far more welcoming experience.
Our ability to provide veterinary medical services will be greatly enhanced through this campaign. We desperately need more surgery, treatment and recovery areas in order to meet the community's demand for high-quality, comprehensive medical care for homeless animals, injured strays awaiting reunification with their owners and pets belonging to low-income qualified clients who have nowhere else to turn. A new, larger medical center will give us the resources necessary to maintain our American Animal Hospital Association accreditation. It will also help increase the number of low- and no-cost spay and neuter services we can offer and, as a result, achieve dramatic reductions in unwanted litters.
At the same time, we will help educate the next generation of veterinary caregivers in surgery, medicine, and understanding of animal welfare through a unique partnership with Washington State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. This extern program, the first of its kind in Idaho, will provide senior veterinary students with training under the direction of on-site faculty.
The new shelter will provide much-needed space for the human side of our endeavors, including a place to train volunteers, classroom space for children and a dedicated area for dog obedience classes. The Humane Education program will open its doors for thousands of school-aged children to teach responsible pet care and humane treatment of animals and will be a resource for adopters learning to adapt to a new pet at home. It will provide necessary space for behavioral training and temperament evaluations for shelter and public animals.