Kitsap Humane Society breaks ground on new shelter

The Kitsap Humane Society broke ground Tuesday on a new $5.7 million shelter and pet adoption center in Silverdale.

Politicians attended the ceremony including state Senator Christine Rolfes (D-Bainbridge Island), Rep. Sherry Appleton (D-North Kitsap), Kitsap County Commissioner Ed Wolfe and and Kitsap County Commissioner Charlotte Garrido.

“We really are in love with the Humane Society,” said Appleton, whose newest dog, a Rottweiler, was adopted from the animal welfare organization.

The new facility, which will be built next to the old building on Dickey Road and designed by the architecture firm Rice Fergus Miller, will feature larger, updated housing for the animals, said executive director Eric Stevens.

In the old building — completed in 1989 — there are 52 kennels in one room. The new shelter will have nine rooms, with between 2-10 kennels in each.

“One of our main goals is an improved in-kennel experience for the animals in our care, and reducing their stress,” said Sarah Moody-Cook, director of animal welfare.

KHS received a grant from the state capital budget for the project, something Stevens said is rare. More than 120 donors also contributed to the multiphase capital campaign.

In total the Humane Society is looking to raise about $7.5 million by the end of 2020, for both the design and construction of the new building, and renovations to the old one — to include upgrades to medical and behavioral facilities. By day’s end Tuesday the organization had raised more than $5 million, according to staff.

The updates could not come soon enough. Stevens said the shelter had been expanding rapidly in recent years. Just five years ago the KHS admitted about 4,400 animals. Last year it admitted over 7,000, or more than 20 per day, on average. Many come from shelters in other parts of the state, or even other parts of the country.

“We’ve become a recognized national leader in animal welfare,” Stevens said, adding the shelter boasts a 96 percent “lifesaving rate” among animals it takes in.

“The only thing still holding us back has been our crowded, noisy, outdated and inefficient shelter facility,” he added. “Our animal-loving community in Kitsap County wanted more, and you got behind us.”

The new shelter and pet adoption center is slated to open in the summer of 2019.