Groundbreaking held for Kootenai Humane Society new shelter

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The KHS plan is to build a no-kill shelter, a little over 20,000 square feet, and have it completed within eight to 10 months.

HAYDEN, Idaho — Cooper is a five-year-old hound mix who needs a home, as reported by our news partner the Coeur d’Alene Press

He seemed to sense that what was going on Tuesday afternoon just off Atlas Road was good for his future, as he stood on his hind legs and greeted Kootenai Humane Society Board member Denise Morris.

“It’s super-exciting,” Morris said of the groundbreaking for the KHS new home. “We’ve been waiting for a long time to do this.”

Likewise for Kelly Gill, KHS volunteer coordinator.

“It just means everything to us,” she said, smiling. “For years we’ve been working on this and I’ve got so many volunteers that have been involved in it.”

About 25 happy people watched as the front-end loaders began pushing dirt on 10 acres at 12575 N. Atlas Road on a chilly, gray afternoon. The plan is to build a no-kill shelter, a little over 20,000 square feet, and have it completed within eight to 10 months.

KHS raised $5.3 million over the past few years toward its goal of $6.5 million. Even though it was a bit short, it forged ahead because it has to move due to planned expansion of the Coeur d’Alene Airport and future extension of Ramsey Road. Both developments include the property where KHS sits.

To make up the finance shortfall, the board reduced building plans and eliminated a few rooms. But it will still be a vast improvement over the old shelter, about a mile east on Ramsey Road, where plumbing and electrical issues were not unusual and kennel space was tight.

It will be bigger, better and a nicer location. Young Construction Group of Idaho, Inc. is the project’s general contractor.

Board President Cindy Edington said on her drive to the groundbreaking, she thought about KHS and its legacy that started over 40 years. She believes KHS has rescued tens of thousands dogs and cats in that time.

So far this year it has adopted out 1,380 animals.

The new shelter will allow KHS to take even better care of animals that come in and find homes for them.

“This allows us to continue that legacy,” Edington said.

Brett Seright, CEO of Seright’s Ace Hardware, presented KHS with a $100,000 check on Tuesday.

He said KHS has done so much for the community and animals he wanted to support them. Seright’s Ace Hardware offered a chance for its customers to pitch in through a change roundup program, and many did.

Brett and wife Hanna Seright have three rescue pets at home.

“We wanted to see how we could impact (KHS),” Seright said. “They do great work.”

KHS Executive Director Debbie Jeffrey has been involved with the nonprofit 25 years. She had butterflies driving to the groundbreaking.

“This has been the dream,” she said. “Every year we talk about a new shelter. This is reality.”

The Coeur d’Alene Press is a KREM 2 news partner. For more from our news partner, click here

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