With the help of a 7-year-old Labrador Retriever named Moose, the Seattle Humane Society broke ground in Bellevue last Saturday on a new $25 million, 57,000 square-foot adoption center, veterinary clinic and shelter facility.
The new facility will replace old, inadequate buildings on the Seattle Humane campus which have been “retrofitted, stretched and worked to maximum capacity,” said Seattle Humane CEO David Loewe. “We’ve literally outgrown our aging facility and, in order to continue fulfilling our mission to save lives and complete families, we need a new home.”
The Puget Sound Business Journal reported that SHS Board Chair Chris Falco was a bit more graphic in describing the existing building as “a smoldering pile of dog poop.”
The new building will be located next to the current animal shelter off I-90, and will be constructed in stages so Seattle Humane can continue to operated during the 18-month construction project. Special care will be taken to mitigate noise and disruption to the animals in their care.
Loewe said the new facility will allow the organization to increase its adoptions from 7000 to 10,000 per year, an increase of about 42% and spay/neuter 5,500 more pets each year “to reduce pet homelessness.”
The new building will also allow Seattle Humane to increase its ability to provide medical care to shelter animals and pets in rescues and shelters with limited resources. The shelter already has an alliance with WSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine in which fourth-year veterinary students do rotations at the shelter as part of their training. When the new building is finished this veterinary training program will expand to include all graduating students.
Seattle Humane’s capital campaign – dubbed “Animal People Can” – seeks to raise $25 million for construction of the three-story shelter, adoption center, and veterinary teaching hospital set to open in 2017.
During construction, adopters will still come to the shelter at 13212 SE Eastgate Way in Bellevue to adopt a pet. Administrative, fundraising, marketing and finance staff are temporarily located in downtown Bellevue, and its Pet Food Bank and facilities crew will relocate to Issaquah in coming weeks.