Olympic Peninsula Humane Society wants community to 'Dig Deep' for new facility fundraiser
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Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Mary Beth Wegener, executive director of the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society, left, and board member Linda Crow pay attention to Buddy, the animal shelter mascot, as the organization prepares to kick off a fundraising effort to move to a new shelter on Old Olympic Highway east of Port Angeles.
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A rendering provided by the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society shows a portion of the new animal shelter complex.
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A rendering provided by the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society shows the new animal shelter complex.

PORT ANGELES — The Olympic Peninsula Humane Society has raised nearly $600,000 in its “Dig Deep” campaign to fund a new $1.2 million animal shelter.

“We are so excited to have reached the halfway mark in our fundraising efforts,” said Linda Crow, capital campaign chair.

Humane Society officials hope to open the new facility in 2015.

“We've been in the quiet phase of 'Dig Deep' since November,” Crow said, “and we've had a wonderful response from donors who understand how important it is for the Humane Society to move to a new location that will be better for the animals and people of Clallam County.”

The 9.5-acre property at 1743 Old Olympic Highway east of Port Angeles includes several buildings that will be used for large and small animals, veterinary services and administrative space.

About $900,000 in improvements is needed before the Humane Society can move any of its animal-care operations to the property.

The current 2,900-square-foot animal shelter at 2105 U.S. Highway 101 west of Port Angeles is antiquated and too small, with no room for expansion because of the property's steep hillside location, Humane Society officials have said.

The present facility was built in 1956, when Clallam County's population was much smaller, and it has room for only 70 cats and 28 dogs.

The county's population centers have grown and shifted eastward, and, in recent years, as many as 2,500 animals are taken into the shelter annually, far more than it can house.

No public money

No public funds are being used to finance the new shelter complex. All funding is through private donations.

“The goal is to use as many local contractors and suppliers as possible to help support the local economy,” said Mary Beth Wegener, executive director of the Humane Society.

Lindberg & Smith Architects in Port Angeles is the project manager.

“We are looking at breaking ground this summer, hopefully in June or July, depending on the permitting process and other variables like weather,” Wegener added.

“This eight-month project should put us in our new home in early 2015, something the staff and volunteers are very excited about.”

The Humane Society bought the land in 2012 for $325,000 and paid it off last year, using donations and money from an existing building fund, which the organization had maintained for many years in hopes of a new home.

The Humane Society has maintained an active presence in Clallam County since 1947.

It shelters and cares for animals of all types. No animals are turned away.

A private nonprofit corporation, the Human Society is financed primarily by donations and gifts.

Benefit on April 26

The Human Society is holding a “Meowgaritas & Mutts” benefit dinner and auction at the Vern Burton Community Center, 304 E. Fourth St. in Port Angeles, on Saturday, April 26.

Tickets are $50.

The event begins with cocktails and a silent auction at 5:30 p.m., with dinner and a live auction at 6:30 p.m.

To buy tickets, make a “Dig Deep” building fund contribution, or for more information or to volunteer, visit www.ophumanesociety.org or phone 360-457-8206.

Last modified: March 16. 2014 12:11AM
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