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West Sound Wildlife Shelter plans to move shelter

The West Sound Wildlife Shelter announced Wednesday the shelter is moving and officials are seeking potential new locations in Kitsap County.

The shelter is currently located on NE Dolphin Drive, just west of the Bloedel Reserve.

Shelter officials said the facility's lease with the Bloedel Reserve expires on Dec. 31, 2016. The Bloedel Reserve has offered to extend the shelter’s lease an additional five years so the shelter has adequate time to find a new home, and the two nonprofits are in ongoing discussions about the feasibility and terms of the proposed extension.

“Our primary focus is providing ongoing care for existing and incoming patients,” said Lisa Horn, executive director of West Sound Wildlife Shelter.  “The well-being of our in-house education animals and patients is now and always our primary consideration and will remain so as we continue our conversations with Bloedel and look for a new home.”

Shelter officials said the facility has been increasingly busy in recent years, and that trend is expected to continue in the future. In 2012, the shelter cared for 1,004 wild animals.

“We recognize our current situation results from the success and changing needs of Bloedel and thus the shelter,” Horn said.  “We appreciate Bloedel working closely with us to make the transition as smooth as possible.”

The lease extension discussion includes a commitment by Bloedel to assist with moving the large structures on the shelter’s current property, which includes the recently constructed flight cage and waterfowl enclosure.

Shelter officials said their next step is to conduct a survey of available properties in Kitsap County that may be suitable for the shelter.

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