The new Carson City Animal Shelter is now open for business.
An open house for the public is Saturday starting at 10 a.m., but animals up for adoption are already there, including a few dogs transferred in during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday for donors and those who worked on the project.
“This marks a new beginning for homeless pets in Carson City,” said Tierra Bonaldi, president, the board of directors for the Nevada Humane Society, which operates the shelter.
Bonaldi said the new Airport Road facility, which was built by Shaheen Beauchamp Builders LLC in the last 12 months, adds ventilation, soundproofing and natural light that makes it comfortable for animals and welcoming to families.
The 10,000 square foot building also adds capacity so the shelter can now house 22 cats, versus 14 before, and 69 dogs instead of the 24 accommodated at the old Butti Way building.
“It’s not an easy task taking care of homeless pets. We cherish our relationship with the Humane Society,” said Mary Smith with Maddie’s Fund, a Pleasanton, Calif., foundation founded by Dave and Cheryl Duffield and named for their miniature schnauzer, Maddie.
The foundation awarded the shelter $383,000 and the building bears the sign Maddies Adoption Center.
The shelter was also funded by another grant from Petco Foundation, donations from Nevada Humane Society and Carson Animal Services Initiative (CASI), and one-eighth of a penny sales tax hike.
“I want to thank our community for daring greatly,” said Lisa Schuette, founder of CASI, which was established to raise money to build the new shelter.
Mayor Bob Crowell also spoke and Jeff Paul, rector, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, offered a prayer, noting it was the Feast of St. Francis, the day for blessing the animals.
Judi Adams, formerly with the Tampa Bay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, joins the shelter this week as its director.
“I’m so thrilled to be here. It’s really an honor to be part of the Nevada Humane Society,” said Adams after the event. “It’s a great day for the community.”
Shelter staff were on hand, too.
“We’re tired and worked hard this last week and a half, but we’re excited to be a part of this transition, and the new features it brings to the community,” said Jessica Ponte, animal services assistant.
The facility features two separate areas for adoptions and relinquishments as well as a surgical suite for spay and neuter services to be offered starting next month.
The new shelter has been about five years in planning, said Robb Fellows, Carson City senior project manager for stormwater, who worked on finding the site and architect.
“It’s unbelievable we finally did it,” he said.