A large parcel of undeveloped land north of Boise that had been donated to Northwest Animal Companions a small rescue group that folded last year after incurring crushing debt has been gifted to the Idaho Humane Society.
Its unclear exactly how the states largest animal welfare group will use the property.
The board has not addressed it yet, Idaho Humane Society Board President Susan Allison said Thursday.
She said Jeff Rosenthal, executive director at IHS, had been in talks about the property but hadnt received word that the transaction was completed. Rosenthal was out of town Thursday.
Kirk Lewis, an orthopedic surgeon, originally donated the land to NAC for use as a no-kill animal sanctuary. The property is about seven miles up Bogus Basin Road from Boise.
According to the deed, if NAC failed to meet several conditions, the land would pass to Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah.
Lewis told the Statesman last year that he never thought that would happen and, apparently, neither did the folks at Best Friends.
We dont have any interest in the land, John Polis, senior manager for public relations for Best Friends, said Wednesday. We have no plans to expand our sanctuary to any other parts of the country.
The group gave up any claim to the land, so Lewis attorneys set about reacquiring and giving it to the Humane Society.
My client wants it to be used for charitable purposes to help animal rescue entities, attorney Terry Copple said. We determined the Idaho Humane Society would fit that profile, and they were willing to take the property.
A judgment and decree signed on Dec. 27 by Judge Richard Greenwood conveyed ownership to the Humane Society, unencumbered by any liens against NAC.
Could it be the site of a future IHS shelter? The current 26,000-square-foot shelter on Dorman Road south of Boise was opened in 1997.
The donated land comes with stipulations that it not be used for residential, commercial or industrial purposes and not be transferred to anyone else.
But property on Bogus Basin Road is unlikely to meet the Humane Societys criteria for an adoption site, Allison said.
As the population shifts west, were concerned about how far east we are, she said. We are interested in (being) centrally located, with great access from the highway.
About 90 full-time and part-time staff work at the shelter, associated veterinary clinic and off-site adoption center (at PetSmart). More than 13,000 animals come through the shelter each year.
Some shelter staff work out of offices in two trailers at the site, said Pat Vance, who has been director of operations for 25 years. Theres also an education trailer for childrens groups and a trailer for the pet-food pantry.
Were almost sitting on each others laps, Vance said.
The Humane Society cares for larger animals, including horses, cows, sheep, emus and ostriches, at an 8-acre rescue ranch about four miles from the shelter. The ranch is on public and private property, and has shelter, water and power.
Katy Moeller: 377-6413