Q. Why do we need a new Animal Shelter and Community Center?
A. Currently, BHS operates out of 3 separate facilities. Not only is this a costly and inefficient way to operate, but these leased spaces are also over-crowded, outdated, and in need of repair. They cannot accommodate appropriate sanitation needs that are critical to animal shelters, and they do not have the appropriate airflow systems to prevent cross-contamination between contagious, airborne diseases of healthy and unhealthy animals.
The current space does not allow the separation of healthy versus unhealthy animals nor the ability to segregate aggressive incoming animals from outgoing adoptable animals. The limited open space cannot accommodate the socialization, exercise and training needs of shelter animals nor can the converted warehouse space in two of our buildings ensure sufficient and rodent-free storage of food and supplies.
Lastly, our current location does not have space to facilitate educational opportunities and services to the community.
Q. Why is the new facility so big?
A. BHS currently operates the adoption services, education programs, administration offices and veterinary clinic out of leased building space that totals 10,300 square feet – of which 3600 square feet is unimproved warehouse space. The 23,000 square foot new facility will not only bring all BHS services and programs under one roof, it will provide the foundation on which to build the “animal welfare hub” of the north state; positioning the organization as the leaders for resources and services in animal welfare.
The veterinary clinic is 4,000 square feet, the classroom 2,200 square feet and administration/miscellaneous spaces (i.e., lobby, bathrooms, and storage) approximately 5,000 square feet for a total of 11,200 square feet. The majority of the square footage is dedicated to humane animal sheltering which adheres to the recommended “Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters” (The Association of Shelter Veterinarians), as well as the United States Humane Society.
Facilities must be appropriate for the species, the number of animals receiving care and the expected length of stay in order to ensure the physical and psychological wellbeing of animals. Sufficient space is needed to provide for proper separation of animals by health status, age, gender, species, temperament, and include adequate space for the shelter operations that include intake, examination, holding, adoption, isolation, treatment, food storage, laundry, and when necessary, euthanasia.
We have toured other facilities for design inspiration. You can learn more by clicking the links below.
idahohumanesociety.org | arflife.org | humanesocietysoco.org
Q. Why does it cost so much?
A. There is a cost to break ground and develop a piece of property. However, we have worked with a dedicated team of business owners, architects, and contractors, to get as much excess cost out of the project as we can. The design was created with energy efficiency and durability in mind. It will be one of the first buildings people see when they come in to the northgate of Chico, so some aesthetic qualities have been considered as well. Once our building is built, Butte Humane Society will be saving money on rent at several locations, cut down on utility costs, and increase their services that generate income to cover administrative costs.
Q. What is the current shelter’s animal capacity versus the new facility?
A. The current shelter has an individual animal capacity for approximately 75 adoptable and stray animals, currently housed in less than adequate size cages and kennels, with no proper isolation or quarantine housing available. BHS currently places approximately 1300 animals per year into adoptive homes.
The new facility will increase housing capacity by over 66%, providing healthy space cages and kennels including segregated spaces for small animals, segregated rehabilitation areas for animals with behavior or special needs, isolation/quarantine areas, and maternity areas for puppies and kittens. This adequate space will enable BHS to place up to 2500 animals per year throughout Butte County and our neighboring counties.
Q. What expanded opportunities can be offered with this new facility?
A. The new facility will enable BHS to adequately accommodate and expand our current services and programs with more efficiency and effectiveness. Additionally, we will be able to add more resources and services to both the public as well as other animal welfare organizations – creating an animal welfare destination that includes rescue and adoption services, affordable veterinary care for the public, humane education programs and services, animal-human recreational spaces and the ability to assist our community and neighboring communities in the event of a natural disaster, when animal evacuation space and support is needed.
Additionally, the new facility will enable BHS to provide educational opportunities for students in animal welfare studies, such as UC Davis veterinary students and Registered Veterinary Technician students.
Q. How will you fund this new facility?
A. BHS is a 100% donation-funded 501c3 and has a current operating budget of $1.3 million dollars. Upon facility completion, the property and the facility will have been paid for, eliminating monthly mortgage or lease expenses. Undoubtedly, daily operation expenses at the new facility will increase – and so will our ability to generate revenue. In addition to continuing our on-going development and fundraising strategy, several revenue streams have been put in place to accommodate our daily operating and maintenance needs that include:
- Veterinary Clinic & Surgery Center (Employing 2 full-time veterinarians to provide much-needed affordable vet care to the public)
- See Spot Shop Retail Store
- Community Dog Pool (Entry fee-based swimming pool, diving dock and splash area for public dogs)
- Dog Wash Station
- Pet Celebration Garden ($ opportunities thru animal interment, statues and memorials)
- End-of-Life Services (Euthanasia, disposal and mementos)
- Animal Programs & Services (obedience training, grooming, agility course, educational seminars/workshops)
- Humane Education Programs (youth birthday parties, summer camps, etc.)
- Facility and Open Space Rentals
- ‘City and/or County Contracts* (to provide stray/hold and/or animal control services through municipal contracts)
*Pending a determined need for service, future discussions and subsequent agreements with City of Chico, the Town of Paradise and/or Butte County
Q. What is your campaign goal?
A. We are off to a great start! The 10 acres of land has already been donated and we have also received $4.8 million thus far from estates and private donors. We are seeking an additional $3-4 million to complete the facility, furnishings, medical equipment, landscaping, animal exercise areas, community dog parks and dog pool as well as to build a healthy operational reserve.
Because there are always uncertainties and unexpected surprises when opening a new facility, we want to ensure those are covered and to make sure our first year of operations has a bit of financial breathing room.
Up to 15% of every campaign contribution is held in a board-designated Operating Endowment Fund for maintenance and operations.