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Small dog kennels provide much needed space

Friends of the Kitsap Humane Society hold a pair of new “tenants” in the shelter’s just-opened small dog kennels. - Leslie Kelly
Friends of the Kitsap Humane Society hold a pair of new “tenants” in the shelter’s just-opened small dog kennels.
— image credit: Leslie Kelly

Even the dogs had on their party clothes.

It was a special event for them and for their supporters last week when the Kitsap Human Society unveiled its expansion that added 12 new kennels specifically designed for small dogs.

On a warm summer evening, shelter staff, board members and special guests munched on goodies and chatted, many of them holding their “new” friends.

“This is Ra Ra,” said board member Becky Swanson. “She’s only been here a few days.”

Just beyond, two shelter workers held a duo of small dogs, both on colorful leashes and both sporting fancy fabric skirts.

Executive Director Eric Stevens told the crowd that opening the small dog kennels was very special for the shelter.

“This is a project that’s been needed for some time,” he said. “And this wouldn’t have happened without the generous support of many of you.”

Indeed. The project, along with needed renovations to the main room and puppy room, ran $84,000. The Humane Society has raised $78,000 including a $25,000 matching grant from an anonymous donor.

Kelly Michaels, director of marketing for the society, said money was also raised through a social media campaign that was launched March 1.

The shelter has needed more room for small dogs for some time, said Michaels.

“In the past, we’ve had to stack small dogs in crates in the hallways,” she said. “The addition of these 12 new small dog kennels increases our overall capacity for dogs by 20 percent.”

The small dog room has 12 metallic kennels with glass doors that allow for easier access to the dogs. The kennels are designed to allow for cleaning and drainage onto a sloped floor which helps with waste removal from the kennels.

And the room itself is sound proof so that the new arrivals have a quiet place and are more able to adjust to their new surroundings.

It also allows for the small dogs to be kept separated from larger dogs, improving their living arrangements.

With the new room now ready, the shelter has three distinct places for dogs - the main kennel for medium and large dogs, the new small dog kennel and a puppy room.

This year to date, the shelter has taken in 1,200 dogs, and of those, 25 percent (300) have been small dogs.

“That’s twice the number as last year (at this time),” Michaels said, noting that the shelter does have a high demand for small dogs.

She said the shelter hopes that it can now work with other shelters in the area and bring small dogs that other facilities would be euthanizing to Kitsap County for adoption. This is done, however, without compromising the shelter’s ability to house the local strays that are brought in, she said.

Construction on the new kennel room began in February and was completed in July, and included wall repairs to the main kennel due to previous water damage. The shelter has been operating at its current location since 1989 when the county built the building.

The full dog capacity for the shelter now is 72 dogs. The shelter takes in about 5,000 animals annually and has been operating in the county since 1908.

The shelter is at 9167 Dickey Road NW, and animals that are ready for adoption can be viewed at www.kitsap-humane.org.

 

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