Pet project unleashed

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  • Rendering courtesy of Kootenai Humane Society The nonprofit Kootenai Humane Society plans to construct a 24,000-square-foot facility in Hayden. The current cinderblock facility is crowded and has been added onto twice.

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    Chelsea Cosgrove and David Espen administer a vaccine to an owner’s dog during an appointment at the Kootenai Humane Society on Thursday.

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    Photos by LOREN BENOIT/Press A new 24,000-square-foot Kootenai Humane Society facility is in the works on the west side of Atlas Road north of Hayden Avenue in Hayden.

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    Bo says "hello." The Kootenai Humane Society has launched a $6.5 million fundraising campaign for a new facility in Coeur d'Alene for kitties, puppies and other animals. (LOREN BENOIT/Press)

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    The current Kootenai Humane Society facility can take in a total of 60 dogs and 60 cats. The new building will be able to accept about 85 dogs and 120 cats. (LOREN BENOIT/Press)

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    Receptionists help customers at Kootenai Humane Society on Thursday. (LOREN BENOIT/Press)

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    The nonprofit Kootenai Humane Society has announced plans to construct a new facility along Atlas Road north of Hayden Avenue in Hayden. A capital campaign has been launched to fund the project. Construction may start as soon as this fall, depending on fundraising. (Rendering courtesy of Kootenai Humane Society)

  • Rendering courtesy of Kootenai Humane Society The nonprofit Kootenai Humane Society plans to construct a 24,000-square-foot facility in Hayden. The current cinderblock facility is crowded and has been added onto twice.

  • 1

    Chelsea Cosgrove and David Espen administer a vaccine to an owner’s dog during an appointment at the Kootenai Humane Society on Thursday.

  • 2

    Photos by LOREN BENOIT/Press A new 24,000-square-foot Kootenai Humane Society facility is in the works on the west side of Atlas Road north of Hayden Avenue in Hayden.

  • 3

    Bo says "hello." The Kootenai Humane Society has launched a $6.5 million fundraising campaign for a new facility in Coeur d'Alene for kitties, puppies and other animals. (LOREN BENOIT/Press)

  • 4

    The current Kootenai Humane Society facility can take in a total of 60 dogs and 60 cats. The new building will be able to accept about 85 dogs and 120 cats. (LOREN BENOIT/Press)

  • 5

    Receptionists help customers at Kootenai Humane Society on Thursday. (LOREN BENOIT/Press)

  • 6

    The nonprofit Kootenai Humane Society has announced plans to construct a new facility along Atlas Road north of Hayden Avenue in Hayden. A capital campaign has been launched to fund the project. Construction may start as soon as this fall, depending on fundraising. (Rendering courtesy of Kootenai Humane Society)

Hagadones to open gardens for humane society fundraiser

By BRIAN WALKER

Staff Writer

COEUR d'ALENE — Duane and Lola Hagadone will open the expansive gardens at their Casco Bay home on Lake Coeur d'Alene to benefit the Kootenai Humane Society's new home.

The fundraiser will be held the evening of Wednesday, Aug. 7.

Guests will enjoy food and cocktails in the gardens after arriving via cruise boat from The Coeur d'Alene Resort.

Ticket information and more details will be announced in the near future.

"We're hoping to have 600 attendees," said Vicky Nelson, KHS director of development.

The Hagadone gardens are the largest privately owned gardens in the Pacific Northwest, with more than 300,000 plants and flowers.

Plush lawns, impeccable landscaping, enchanting water features and inspiration abounds in the Hagadone gardens, where the couple and their staff work to maintain more than 12 acres brimming with the diverse flora.

"The Hagadones are very generous to hold this event," said Rick Rasmussen, chairman of the $6.5 million capital campaign.

"His fundraisers are always successful," said Debbie Jeffrey, the humane society's executive director.

There will be a “raise your paws” paddle-raising portion of the event.

The humane society fundraiser will be the latest hosted by the Hagadones over the years to assist local nonprofits.

"We know that Mr. Hagadone is a great dog lover and this shows his care for animals," said Jim Faucher, a fundraising consultant who is helping organize the campaign. "He personally greets each guest as they get off the boat. We're hoping this will be a capping-off event for the capital campaign."

When Rick Rasmussen recently toured Kootenai Humane Society, the thought of the community providing a better facility to house homeless cats and dogs resonated.

"Two minutes into it, I thought, 'We've got to do something better for the animals that will be a part of our families,'" he said. "You keep hearing that our community is a top place to live, but we should have an animal shelter that reflects that.

“This is truly a unique opportunity."

Rasmussen, CEO of Northwest Specialty Hospital in Post Falls, is chairman of the nonprofit's $6.5 million fundraising campaign for a new 24,000-square-foot facility on the west side of Atlas Road north of Hayden Avenue in Hayden.

The campaign and facility plans were unveiled to staff, volunteers and donors at the site on Saturday. KHS is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

Jim Faucher, a fundraising consultant who is helping organize the campaign, said the KHS capital campaign committee wants to break ground when 90 percent of the funds are either in hand or pledged.

"It would be great to break ground by the end of the year, but it really depends on donations," Faucher said.

Vicky Nelson, KHS director of development, said the nonprofit's staff and volunteers have wanted to move for several years and the new facility will be a "dream."

"The fact that community members will help make this a reality is amazing," she said.

CURRENT CONDITIONS

Nelson said the nonprofit's 15,000-square-foot cinderblock facility at 11650 N. Ramsey Road next to the Coeur d'Alene Airport lacks energy efficiency, sufficient space for animals and operations, and visual appeal inside and out.

"A lot of people don't like to come out here because of the pound-like look of how the shelter started," Nelson said. "Times have changed and the personality of the shelter has changed. It needs to be human-friendly. If people don't come out and adopt animals, that defeats our purpose."

KHS has been at the same location since it started. The facility was added onto in the early 1980s and again in the late 1980s.

"It costs us a lot to run the facility because of a lack of insulation and single-pane windows," Nelson said. "It stays very cold both in the offices and where the animals are. There's always something breaking on the septic system. That's repaired on a regular basis."

Some of the animals are housed in staff offices and closets because of lack of space.

"This building is getting very tired," said Debbie Jeffrey, KHS executive director. "It's a very dysfunctional shelter."

Jeffrey said that, for example, when kennels are cleaned daily, dogs have to be taken to an outside kennel during the cleaning.

A trailer that serves as an office and another overflow space for animals was moved on the grounds in 2011.

Contrary to popular belief, KHS is not a part of the Kootenai County government agency, doesn't receive county funding and is not a part of The Humane Society of the United States.

KHS rents the current 2-acre property it operates on for $1,392 a month from the county. The nonprofit owns the building, but the county owns the land.

Nelson said that while the county has been exploring ways to increase economic development around the airport, the nonprofit's staff hasn't felt that KHS is being forced to leave.

Nelson said it's best that the nonprofit move anyway, however, because of limited space outside the facility for walking dogs and being right next to the airport.

"(County officials) are pleased with our progress (on the new facility)," she said with a smile.

HOW TO HELP

Although the $6.5 million fundraising campaign officially kicks off today, Faucher said more than $2 million has already been raised or pledged.

An estate gift from the late George and Maryann Feldon, who lived in Harrison and had German shepherds and cats, will provide $2 million. Of that amount, $750,000 will be set aside for future operations and is not a part of the capital campaign.

Meanwhile, a $400,000 gift from the Schwartz Charitable Trust was used to purchase the 10 acres along Atlas Road. The total cost of the property was $435,000.

"More than 30 percent of the campaign's goal has been given or pledged, which for a capital campaign is fabulous," Faucher said. "That's a tremendous start."

Tax-deductible donations can be sent to KHS at P.O. Box 1005, Hayden, 83835. Designate "new shelter capital campaign" with your donation. The KHS website, kootenaihumanesociety.com, also has a button for donations.

As part of the campaign, several naming opportunities in the new facility are available for donors.

For more information, contact Jeffrey at 208-449-3412, Nelson at 208-819-2812 or Faucher at 208-660-0571 or jimfaucher@gmail.com.

As part of the fundraising activities, Duane and Lola Hagadone will open the gardens at their home in Casco Bay on Lake Coeur d'Alene on the evening of Wednesday, Aug. 7.

The Hagadone gardens are the largest privately owned gardens in the Pacific Northwest, with more than 300,000 plants and flowers.

Tickets will go on sale and more details will be announced in the near future, Faucher said. Guests will arrive at the estate via a cruise boat from The Coeur d'Alene Resort.

A PAWS-ITIVE FUTURE

Area growth has led to busier times for KHS in recent years.

The nonprofit, a no-kill shelter, adopted out 2,023 animals last year — including dogs, cats, rodents, rabbits and birds — nearly double the number of adoptions in 2010, when 1,231 pets found homes.

"As our community has grown, our animal shelter needs have grown, too," Rasmussen said.

The average length of stay for dogs was five days last year and for cats, 13 days.

The shelter also accepts animals brought in by animal control officers for the Coeur d'Alene and Rathdrum police departments.

"Today everything is brought through the front door," said Jeffrey, adding that those departments will have a separate entrance with the new facility.

The current facility can take in a total of 60 dogs and 60 cats, including the isolation areas for sick animals.

The cat side is always at capacity and there's a waiting list of about 40. That list grows to about 75 in the summer. The dog portion generally isn't in as high demand, but it's still tight. KHS has been able to accept dogs from other parts of the country.

The new building will be able to house about 85 dogs and 120 cats.

"One of the biggest differences is that each area will have its own ventilation system, which will be huge for the dogs and cats to reduce the spread of disease," Jeffrey said.

The new shelter will have kennels with special doors so the animals won't have to be moved to a different area as they presently are.

"The functionality will be much better," Jeffrey said. "It may take an hour off of cleaning so we can open earlier."

The single-story facility will have a community room that can be rented, several "catios" for felines to lounge in the sun, a veterinary room and 5 fenced acres for walking dogs.

"We're not building the Taj Mahal or overbuilding just to overbuild," Rasmussen said. "The facility will be very efficient and cost-effective. We will be good stewards of the money donated."

How to help

Tax-deductible donations for the Kootenai Humane Society's new facility planned for Hayden on Atlas Road can be sent to KHS at P.O. Box 1005, Hayden, 83835. Designate "new shelter capital campaign" with your donation. The KHS website, kootenaihumanesociety.com, also has a button for donations.

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