It's too bad Dave Parmeter wasn't given time enough to see the Benton-Franklin Humane Society's land purchase.
Before his death Nov. 30, Parmeter was vice president of the local Humane Society, an organization well represented by some of the best people in the Tri-Cities.
But the purchase comes in time for Christmas this year and with the promise of a better shelter for homeless pets for many Christmases to come.
Sympathetic letters to the editor and hundreds of adoptions yearly make it clear this is a community that cares about animals.
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Unfortunately, the number of pets that need saving after being abandoned indicates there are still too many people who are careless with their pets or heartless in their ways.
Parmeter and his friends, such as Humane Society President Shannon Novakovich, board member Dick Peterson, Parmeter's sister Debra Still and others, managed to find the money to purchase four acres of property from the Port of Kennewick for the new no-kill shelter.
The land on the eastern edge of the city was bought for $175,000. The shelter's new address will be 1710 E. Seventh Ave.
More money will be needed to raise money for the building and equipment, but the board and staff are optimistic.
Humane Society officials have been working to raise $2 million for the capital project, which includes buying the land, building a more than 9,000-square-foot facility and covering the additional costs of operating a larger shelter.
The current shelter, which has been at 8620 W. Gage Blvd. since 1998, can take in about 40 animals, said operations manager Ed Dawson.
The new shelter would be built to hold 120 orphaned pets. Officials also hope to build a low-cost spay/neuter clinic next door.
This is a much-needed project.
It already has a partner-in-waiting for its future.
Benton County Sheriff Larry Taylor won approval from county commissioners to create an animal control subdivision within his department.
The lack of animal control laws and facilities in the counties' unincorporated areas have frustrated residents in Benton and Franklin counties for years.
Benton County has an ordinance that allows deputies to remove dogs deemed dangerous, but no ordinance that addresses dogs that are just strays.
The facility is planned near the Benton-Franklin Fairgrounds.
Sheriff Taylor is adamant that the county shelter will not be the last home any adoptable dog sees.
"My goal is that it's a no-kill shelter, and the only euthanasia that is done is to those dogs required to be euthanized ... because of a medical issue ... or because they were deemed to be vicious by the court," Taylor said. "We'll do everything possible to have them adopted."
The combination of the Humane Society's no-kill shelter and Taylor's euthanizing as a last resort is good news for the community and good news for pets.
By the way, if you want to help the Humane Society toward its goal, go to Benton-Franklin Humane Society on the Internet, write the local society at 8620 W. Gage Blvd. in Kennewick, 99336 or call 509-374-4235.