Carson City Animal Shelter starts with thanks, dirt-slinging

An artist's rendering of the new Carson City animal shelter is on display Wednesday morning.

An artist's rendering of the new Carson City animal shelter is on display Wednesday morning.

Breaking into sobs of gratitude, Lisa Schuette thanked everyone imaginable at Wednesday’s groundbreaking ceremony for Carson City’s $4 million animal shelter.

Schuette, founder and driving force behind Carson Animal Services Initiative (CASI), was joined by Mayor Robert Crowell, Krys Bart of the Nevada Humane Society, which handles animal services here, and Mark Beauchamp of Shaheen Beauchamp Builders, the general contractor, in making brief remarks before a host of dignitaries turned shovels full of dirt at the construction site near the corner of Airport Road and Butti Way.

“It was obvious that our (current) shelter was in terrible condition,” said a calm Schuette as she opened her remarks by tracing the four-year history of her fundraising organization while mentioning the half century old shelter that would be replaced. She called the existing shelter broken and out-of-date. “I’m grateful that this changed.”

It was during a recitation of donors — businesses, organizations and individuals — as well as her gratitude to the Board of Supervisors for taking up the cudgel for a new shelter and for CASI volunteers who worked tirelessly that Schuette broke into sobs. In the end, the retired teacher extended her thanks to embrace Carson City as a compassionate community.

The shelter will be built at a cost in excess of $4 million, with just under that amount coming from city government, about $200,000 from CASI and more than $200,000 from the Reno-based humane society who runs animal services and operates the shelter. The government portion is from bonds backed by a one-eighth of a penny city sales tax boost in 2014. Crowell, however, gave CASI credit for seeing a “severe need for an animal shelter” and taking action.

“I mean it when I say this is a tribute to our community,” the mayor said. “This is one of the most important infrastructure developments that we can do.”

Bart, president of the humane society’s board, said the society is pleased to help make Carson City a no-kill animal services and shelter community. She said the organization, which operates the city services and shelter in a $700,000 annual pact struck last year with city government, agreed to have two board seats for Carson City residents and she took the opportunity to invite names for submission.

Bart also said the society is “hot on the trail” seeking more funds to help make the shelter a topflight facility.

For his part, the builder was ultra-brief.

“I’m a much better builder than I am a speaker,” said Beauchamp. “It’s going to be a great project when we’re done.”

The shelter will be about 10,000 square feet and have the capacity to house 134 dogs, 104 cats and seven exotic animals. Before the 9:30 a.m. ceremony, City Manager Nick Marano expressed city government’s excitement the project was starting. “We’ve been grateful for the support from the humane society and CASI,” he said, “and can’t wait to see the impact this facility will have on our city.”


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