Auburn Valley Humane Society, City to celebrate groundbreaking of animal shelter

The Auburn Valley Humane Society and the City of Auburn will join together to celebrate the groundbreaking and remodeling of an animal shelter.

The Tuesday, April 10 ceremony begins at 3 p.m. at the building site, 4910 A St. SE

Housed in the former Evergreen Community Center, the new shelter is expected to improve animal control, care and life for shelter animals in the Auburn community.

Plans call for the shelter to be not only a pound, but also a community education center where pets and people come together. What's more, it will host pet-related seminars with local veterinarians and staff covering topics from grooming to diabetes, plus weekend dog-walking events, kitty calming, visits, service dog information and other pet-related happenings.

The AVHS is a group of concerned community members and seven Auburn veterinarians who have teamed together to help solve a need. They have put together a nonprofit group to establish a local animal shelter aimed at caring for Auburn's lost, stray and abandoned pet population.

Auburn's contract with AVHS is for seven years, with an option to renew. The AVHS' contract takes effect Jan. 1, 2013, one day after the current contract expires with King County. The AVHS insists it can do a better, cost-effective job, running an animal shelter right here, offering better services than residents now get.

In addition to the City-owned building, the City will provide an animal control officer. By having control of its own officer and whatever goes along with that, the City figures it can recoup its initial $1.1 million investment and startup costs within two to three years.

The agreement calls for AVHS to operate the shelter, which the City will lease to the nonprofit organization for $1. The City will provide up to $417,000 toward the completion of tenant improvements there.

The shelter's capacity will be 50 animals per day. If there are more, AVHS has agreed to work to reduce the population through adoption, foster care, other humane societies or other appropriate means.

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