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Public invited to Auburn Valley Humane Society open house

A group of concerned residents and seven Auburn veterinarians have put together a nonprofit group to establish a local animal shelter to care for the city's lost, stray and abandoned pet population.

They have entered into a contract with the City of Auburn that calls for them to run the shelter, the City to tackle the animal control side of things.

But the Auburn Valley Humane Society can't do its bit all on its own.

The opportunity to help is roaring up fast within the walls of the shelter to be — an open house from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13, at 4910 A St. SE, Auburn.

Come get a look at the future shelter before Donavan Bros begins to remold it, take a horse-drawn sleigh ride around the neighborhood, listen to a live band.

And of course, feel free to donate to the cause.

"It's about opening up and building the relationships we need with the community for it to be a successful shelter," said Auburn Councilmember John Partridge, a member of the AVHS board of directors. "We also want people to get a nice before-and-after look, to share the vision, to share with the people who have already given so much, so that when we reopen the doors at the end of the project, people can get a real perspective."

The date for the shelter to be up and running is Jan. 1, 2013, just after the current animal control contract with King County expires.

Because the AVHS took on in the contract with the City the goal of furnishing by donation the equipment needed and the furnishings for the building, the initial estimate is it will need to raise about $200,000. It has divided that up into a limited number of $1,000 charter membership positions, allowing people to get in on the ground floor and forever be remembered as the community members and groups that can say they were a part of the opening of the shelter.

People can donate in several ways. Individuals or groups can write a $1,000 check. AVHS also can take monthly payments of $100 a month for 10 months, or $50 for 20 months to secure a corporate membership.

The shelter also will serve as a community education center where pets and people can come together, offering pet-related seminars from local veterinarians and staff with topics ranging from grooming to diabetes, plus weekend dog-walking events, kitty-calming visits, service dog information and pet-related events.

That means a lot of ways to help.

"We recognize that people can contribute their time, talents or treasure," Partridge said. "We already have 200 people signed up who want to actively give of their time in running the shelter once it's opened. Volunteer opportunities abound. The community response from our booth at Petpalooza and at Auburn Good Ol' Days has been tremendous."

People may log in at the website – www.auburnvalleyhs.org – to indicate how they want to help, from walking a dog to holding pet to actually being a participant in the care of animals.

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