What are the big picture points?
• In addition to replacing the old shelter with a new, modern shelter that will better protect the health and well-being of our pets, we are building an education and event center, indoor and outdoor training areas, a top-notch spay/neuter center, and much more.
• The new campus is an amazing and happy hub for people to connect with each other and animals (whether they are looking to adopt or not) and attract people from all over the nation. This tremendous asset is a fantastic addition to our community.
•Total cost for this big vision is approximately $16 million. This includes architecture, engineering, actual building costs, medical clinic equipment, all furniture and fixtures, landscaping, etc.
•We have raised $15.5 million to date (97% of goal). Fundraising is still ongoing and critical to the project’s success. Multi-year pledges welcome through 2020.
•We broke ground in June 2017. We moved into the new facility in January 2019.
•Building square footage is approximately 30,000, which includes: an adoption center, cat colonies, dog housing, spay/neuter clinic, (with separate intake, isolation and recovery wards), indoor training area, classroom, and administration building.
•The capacity of animals we can shelter at the new facility will approximately double from the previous facility. The new facility will be able to accommodate 58 dogs and 72 cats (plus 4 “other” small animals).
Why do we need a new facility?
•Modern kennel design and materials will improve the health of the animals, decrease noise and stress, and prevent the spread of disease.
•While the average number of on-site adoptable animals at any given time will significantly increase, our animals will be in spaces that are actually designed to house animals safely and humanely, making them healthier and more adoptable.
•We will be able to dramatically expand our humane education efforts with the Education Barn, indoor play yard, Central Bark and outdoor areas. We will significantly increase the number of children who learn about compassion through interactions with animals. We expect more than 1400 humane education participants will join us at the new campus in 2019.
•We will engage the community in ways we currently cannot, changing people’s perceptions of an animal shelter to a happy place where they want to come (whether they’re looking for a pet or not) through engaging public areas like the Cat Café, event spaces available to rent, walking trails, and more. We will expose more people than ever to our mission.
• All of these amenities will not just result in our local community viewing Mountain Humane as a destination, but will also draw more visitors to the Wood River Valley. Currently, 30% of our animals are adopted to people from out of town – many of whom travel here specifically to adopt from us. They travel because of our reputation as a no-kill shelter and as a place where they can find a pet ready to go – spayed/neutered, vaccinated, micro-chipped and often with basic obedience training. This will only increase with a new campus that is a model for humane animal care and community engagement, bringing additional vitality, diversity, and money to our local economy.
Will you be working with local vets?
• It’s in the best interest of the animals and the community for us to work in partnership with local vets to ensure that animals continue to receive good care after they leave the Mountain Humane, which requires professional private-practice veterinary clinics.
• The Spay/Neuter Clinic will be for medical services for the Mountain Humane animals and spay/neuter services, including our free clinics. These clinics are the number one reason we have been able to decrease the local stray animal population by 50%, allowing us to be a humane no-kill shelter. Now, we can accept adoptable animals facing euthanasia elsewhere.
• We will not offer general medical care to the public, but encourage pet owners to develop a relationship with the local vet of their choice.
• Local vets generously offer all adopters a free follow up exam when they adopt a new pet. With more than 600 animal adoptions per year, that’s a lot of potential new clients for our local vets!
How are you funding the new animal adoption and humane education center?
• Both our annual operations and the capital campaign to build this amazing new campus are funded by private donors (including both individuals and foundations) as much from those in our community as it as from those across our country who are like-minded in our commitment to make Idaho a leader in animal welfare. We receive no government grants.
How does transferring animals from other shelters help Blaine County?
• After almost a decade of our Free Community Spay/Neuter Clinics, we are seeing the success of the program through a reduction in our local homeless animal population. However, hundreds of local families per year still want to adopt loving new companions from the Mountain Humane – bringing in adoptable pets from overcrowded regional shelters not only helps save those animals’ lives, but it meets the local demand for rescued pets.
• Having a diverse group of animals available for adoption, with the benefits of our services – spay/neuter, microchips, vaccinations, basic obedience training, and more – draws hundreds of visitors per year to the valley, bringing customers who visit local businesses, increasing the Valley’s economic vitality. In fact, our 2016 operations infused $5.3 M back into the local economy. Read more about Mountain Humane’s economic impact here.
What is happening to the old building?
• We own it so we can continue to provide services while we build the new facility.
• Once we’re in the new campus, the old building will continue to serve our needs as storage and the location for the crematorium (a service we provide to the public). There are other ideas that we’ll evaluate as needs arise, weighing benefits against cost of operation.
What kind of impact will the new building have on the environment?
• In order to be a good community and environmental steward, in addition to being responsible with our donor dollars, the shelter is investing in several measures that will both benefit the environment and decrease our annual operating costs. To decrease our use of propane to run the heating and cooling systems, we are installing a ground source heat pump (geothermal) system. We are also installing solar panels to decrease our reliance on the power grid. Over the life cycle of these two systems, we are projected to save more than $1.5 million in operating costs ($40,000 per year) and reduce our carbon footprint by almost 40 million kilograms!
How is this improving animal welfare in Idaho?
• In our Education Barn, classroom, and other educational spaces, we will be able to offer workshops, classes, and other events that help staff at regional shelters learn how to improve their programs and practices, in addition to offering community education opportunities for the public.
• The problem of animal overpopulation (which happens when animals aren’t spayed and neutered) and lack of humane care is widespread, especially in our region. In fact, Idaho is ranked 47th in the United States for animal welfare.
• Many Idaho animal shelters are dealing with overpopulation and are forced to euthanize healthy, adoptable animals every year. We have the opportunity to help other shelters by relieving their overcrowding and educating them on how to provide more humane care so they can better take care of their own animal populations, becoming better resources for their own communities, and moving toward internal, long-term sustainability.
What does No-Kill Idaho 2025 mean?
• In 1999, Mountain Humane became the first shelter in the state of Idaho to adopt no kill policies. While Blaine County has made great strides in animal welfare, much of Idaho still struggles. Many Idaho animal shelters are dealing with overpopulation and are forced to euthanize thousands of healthy, adoptable animals every year. We have the opportunity to make a huge difference!
• More than 10,000 dogs and cats are still euthanized annually in Idaho, that we know of. This is a huge burden on the staff at these shelters and is a tragedy for the animals. No one wants euthanasia to be the solution for pet overpopulation, but not all shelters have the resources or circumstances that allow them to become no-kill.
• We intend to leverage Mountain Humane’s expertise and resources to be a catalyst for the State of Idaho to decrease the number of healthy, adoptable animals euthanized in shelters by 100%. In other words, our goal is for Idaho to be a “no-kill” state by 2025, and we intend to help lead the way in this ambitious effort.