Carson City’s new animal shelter to open soon

Carson City’s long-anticipated new animal shelter opens its door early next month.

Nevada Humane Society Carson City Center on Airport Road is set to debut Oct. 8 after Shaheen Beauchamp Builders puts the finishing touches on the year-long, $4.2 million project.

That includes installing the last of 60 dog kennels and about 30 spacious cat cages.

The 10,000 square-foot facility will more than double the capacity of the current shelter on Butti Way, allowing for the housing of up to about 100 dogs and 100 cats, said Kiska Icard, chief executive officer, Nevada Humane Society, during a tour of the new shelter.

That will reduce the transfer of animals to Reno’s Humane Society facility, where about two-thirds of Carson City animals currently go.

The transfers have upped Carson City’s animal live release rate from 55 percent before the Humane Society took over operations to its current 95 percent.

Icard expects the new shelter to maintain that rate with only animals that are either too sick to survive or too aggressive to be rehabilitated euthanized.

The new building is different from the old building in many ways, including providing separate areas for intake, where people relinquish their animals, and for adoption.

The two function areas have separate entrances, which is good for both the animals and the humans, said Icard.

“Isolating intake helps with disease prevention and helps control the experience,” said Icard. “It’s emotional giving up an animal. You don’t want to be sitting next to someone happily adopting a puppy.”

The adoption area includes several enclosed rooms that can be flexibly used for people getting acquainted with an animal or as homes for litters of cats or dogs or as space for older animals.

And in sharp contrast to the existing shelter, the adoption area has vaulted, wood ceilings, tile floors and lots of windows.

Behind the scenes, the staff facility has kennels, specially equipped rooms for wandering cats, intake rooms, a feral cat room, a room to evaluate dogs for aggression, a garage for animal control to deliver animals, and a surgical suite.

By November, the shelter hopes to start offering spay and neutering services, using a rotation of veterinarians from Reno, who will be able to perform up to 50 surgeries a day, said Icard.

A play yard with ramps and toys for dogs to work off their energy is being designed and will soon go out to bid.

“It will help before taking them out to meet potential parents. You want the dogs to put their best paw forward,” said Icard.

Carson Animal Services Initiative has raised about $100,000 to fund the yard as well as help jump start the spay and neutering services, said Lisa Schuette, chair.

CASI contributed about $200,000 to funding the animal shelter and Schuette said the group will continue to raise money for ongoing needs there as well as other animal projects, such as its recent 5K9 run to benefit Catmandu cat sanctuary.

Remaining funds for the shelter came from the one-eighth of a penny sales tax hike in 2014, which accounted for $4 million; $225,000 from the Nevada Humane Society and about $60,000 in other donations.

The shelter building contract was approved by the Board of Supervisors in September 2015.

Construction began weeks later and is ahead of schedule, according to Joel Brugger, superintendent, Shaheen Beauchamp.

“The shelter’s been a long time coming and Shaheen Beauchamp was happy to be part of the project,” he said.


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