Meridian animal shelter to close

Volunteers say they plan to continue a rescue group and dog-placing service.

kmoeller@idahostatesman.comSeptember 25, 2013 

Once a week for the past nine years, Connie Petersen has spent part of her morning walking dogs at the Meridian Valley Humane Society.

“I just walked my last walking shift,” Petersen said Tuesday.

The volunteer-run animal shelter that Petersen founded will close Sept. 30 due to expansion of the city’s wastewater treatment plant. The shelter operates in two city buildings on the grounds of the treatment plant at 3401 N. Ten Mile Road. The city pays for two animal control officers and a part-time adoption manager.

In May, city officials began a community discussion about the future of the shelter. When the council adopted its budget in August, it decided to contract with the Idaho Humane Society for shelter and animal control services. The contract is for $339,615.

That’s more than the $225,289 that the city paid in the last fiscal year. Costs would have increased if the city had to find or build a new facility for the shelter, said city spokeswoman Natalie Podgorski.

“There are lots of memories and emotions, but I feel good about the end result,” said Petersen, who has been on the board of the Idaho Humane Society for more than five years.

The shelter housed and found homes for about 1,000 dogs each year. It was a labor of love for 75 community volunteers.

The good news: The Meridian Valley Humane Society will continue as a nonprofit rescue group. It’s looking for another location that can accommodate five to 10 dogs, Petersen said.

“It will continue to be a smaller, more intimate setting, which is what our volunteers are used to,” she said. “It will serve the greater good for all the animals.”

To get involved, call 794-0944, go to meridianhumanesociety.org, or send an email to meridianhumanesociety@gmail.com.

Katy Moeller: 377-6413

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