Our Towns

Meridian invites public feedback on the future of city animal shelter

The Meridian Valley Humane Society operates out of two buildings on the grounds of the city’s wastewater treatment plant at 3401 N. Ten Mile Road.

But due to growth in Meridian, the wastewater treatment plan now needs to expand into the area now occupied by the smaller of the shelter’s two buildings. City officials say it’s time to have a community discussion about the long-term fate of the shelter.

The city owns the shelter’s buildings — which  together hold about 25 dogs — and pays for two animal control officers and a part-time adoption manager. But 75 to 80 volunteers care for the animals, manage the adoption Web site,  and raise money for veterinary care. They donate about 12,000 hours each year,  said Connie Petersen, the volunteer who founded the shelter nine years ago.

“You name it, the volunteer group does it,” Petersen said.

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STATESMAN ARCHIVE PHOTO
In 2011, volunteers showed dogs at the 4th Annual Wine, Dine, and Fine Fashion Show fundraiser for the Meridian Valley Humane Society hosted at the Courtyard Marriott.

More than 1,000 dogs came through the shelter in 2011; 940 in 2012. The shelter has a 100 percent adoption rate, if you exclude those that are extremely ill, have a history of biting or violent behavior.

“We are so grateful for what they are doing,” said Natalie Podgorski, a city spokesman said of the volunteer-run shelter.

Petersen, a member of the Idaho Humane Society board, said contracting with IHS for animal control is one option for the community. That would be a disappointment to some volunteers, Petersen said, who enjoy the intimate nature of their shelter.

Have a comment about the future of the shelter? E-mail mpd@meridiancity.org (subject line: animal shelter).

Katy Moeller: 377-6413

Posted in Our Towns