The Benton Franklin Humane Society will close its Gage Boulevard facility at the end of business today so the organization can begin its move to a $1.8 million building in Finley.
The new building officially is called the Roger James Animal Adoption Center, named after the Tri-City man who donated more than $1 million toward the project. Humane Society officials wanted to honor him despite his wishes to remain out of the limelight.
To say the staff is excited about the move would be an understatement, said Ed Dawson, the operations manager for the Humane Society.
The new digs are a roomy 10,000 square feet that triples the amount of pet capacity the agency can handle.
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"On Friday, we'll start the move to the new building, and focus on the equipment and office supplies first," Dawson said. "Then on Sunday we'll move the animals over."
The Humane Society will reopen Wednesday at the new location at 1736 E. Seventh Ave., off Highway 397 and Gum Street in Kennewick.
"We've had a few complaints about being out so far," Dawson said. "The Gage Boulevard location was certainly more centrally located for the Tri-Cities. But I think once people come out and see how great this new building is, and how much more we can do to help surrendered pets, the drive won't seem so bad."
The new site will have 30 state-of-the-art housing units for cats, 30 kennels for large dogs, 30 kennels for small dogs, medical and laundry rooms and two isolation rooms for calming animals.
There also is a nursery for mothers and kittens or pups, eight glass-enclosed quarantine units that will help prevent airborne contagions from spreading to other animals, a playroom for people who want to spend a little time with a dog or cat before adopting and plenty of glass walls for viewing animals.
Another 30 kennels for large dogs will be completed later, as well as four large outdoor kennels for exercise. "It'll all depend on the amount of donations we receive," Dawson said.
The spacious brick building sits on half of the nearly four-acre site and is surrounded by a manicured lawn and several newly planted trees. The Humane Society hopes eventually to convert a large outbuilding on the site into a low-income spay and neuter facility, Dawson said.
"That's in our Phase II plan," he said.
The new building's hours will be from noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays. The office will remain closed Sundays.
For more information, call 509-374-4235.
-- Dori O'Neal: 509-582-1514; firstname.lastname@example.org
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