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October 2013
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CityLink Seattle

Seattle Animal Shelter’s Dog Kennels to Get a Facelift

SHKS Architects rendering of new kennel area

SHKS Architects rendering of new kennel area

Thanks in part to an $80,000 grant from the Seattle Animal Shelter Foundation (SASF), the Seattle Animal Shelter’s dog kennels are getting a facelift this November. While the project will result in major improvements for dogs in the shelter’s care, several measures are planned to help alleviate overcrowding during the renovation. These steps include a special adoption promotion, additional foster care orientations to expand the pool of foster homes, and, starting today and running through completion of the renovation, the temporary suspension of accepting surrendered and stray animals.

The four-week construction project, which begins Nov. 4, will replace the existing chain link fencing of the kennels with modern glass enclosures and resurface the floors (See kennel rendering). In addition to the SASF grant, other funding sources for the $160,000 project include $68,000 from the shelter’s Help the Animals Fund and $12,000 in city facility maintenance funding.

“These state-of-the-art enclosures include visual barriers that will greatly reduce the noise in the kennel area, and more importantly, the stress dogs can experience when they can see other animals through the chain link,” says Shelter Director Don Jordan. “The enclosures will also remove the gaps that allow small fingers to squeeze in and small dogs to squeeze out. I cannot thank the foundation and its supporters enough for their generous contributions.”

As all the dogs must be moved out of the kennel area by Nov. 3, the shelter is hoping to adopt out or move into foster homes as many dogs as possible prior to construction. Several other areas of the shelter will temporarily house dogs still on-site, which will bump other animals, such as rabbits, rodents and reptiles from their typical spaces. This ripple effect has the shelter seeking new homes for all animals.

Special Adoption Promotion
To entice potential adopters, the Shelter is waiving adoption fees for dogs, cats and critters beginning today through Nov. 3. Adopters will still be responsible for purchasing a pet license for cats and dogs living in the city limits.

“Any time is a great time to welcome a pet into your home, but we especially need your help right now,” says Jordan. “While adoption is the preferred option, if you are unable to make a permanent commitment, you also can help by becoming a foster parent.”

Foster Care
Shelter volunteers are offering additional foster care orientations prior to the start of construction. If you or someone you know can help, please RSVP for one of these foster trainings held at the shelter:

Dogs: Saturday, Nov. 2, 10 a.m.
Apply and RSVP online

Critters: Saturday, Nov. 2, 2 p.m.
RSVP by email: sasfostercritters@gmail.com

Cats: Sunday, Nov. 3, 2 p.m.
RSVP by email: sasfostercatsorientation@gmail.com

Foster parents are a critical part of the program at the shelter, as it relies on volunteers to provide temporary foster care in their homes to rehabilitate and nurture sick, injured and immature animals or to just give adoptable animals a break from the shelter environment. The foster care program is quite simple: you provide food and a temporary home; the Seattle Animal Shelter will provide any necessary veterinary care, training support and adoption marketing.

Surrenders and Strays
Besides a push to find new homes for the animals currently at the shelter, also beginning today, the shelter will suspend accepting new animals – both surrenders and strays. Until the renovation project is complete, residents who find stray animals are encouraged to seek out the owner of the animal using the shelter’s Lost and Found Database or finding the lost animal’s home by matching licenses or microchips with assistance from shelter staff. If you find a stray and need help reuniting it with its owner, please call SAS at 206-386-7387.

Several partner agencies in the Puget Sound area have generously agreed to accept surrenders from Seattle residents during this time. Please note that most shelters require appointments and may have surrender or “rehoming” fees, or some other qualifier, so please contact the agency prior to arrival:

Seattle Humane Society
The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County
PAWS
Everett Animal Services
Auburn Valley Humane Society

What Won’t be Affected
During construction, field enforcement efforts will continue as normal, as will operations at the Shelter’s Spay and Neuter Clinic. People can still adopt animals from the shelter and are highly encouraged to adopt an animal directly from a foster home. Check www.seattleanimalshelter.org to see all the animals currently available for adoption.

The project, expected to conclude by Nov. 30 was developed by the city of Seattle’s Department of Finance and Administrative Services, designed by SKHS Architects of Seattle, and will be constructed by Newton Building and Development, LLC of Bremerton.

The Seattle Animal Shelter is open Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. for adoptions and licensing. It is located at 2061 15th Ave. W. The phone number is 206-386-7387 (PETS). Animals available for adoption can be viewed online at http://www.seattleanimalshelter.org.