Frequently Asked Questions


Q. Where will the new shelter be located?

A. The new shelter will be located on 9 acres about halfway between Port Angeles and Sequim on Old Olympic Highway. The address is 1745 Old Olympic Highway.

Q. How large is the dog kennel building?

A. The total footprint of the building is 4,820 square feet which includes the outdoor portion of the indoor/outdoor kennels. The interior is 3,897 square feet while the exterior is 923 square feet. The square footage shown on the cost estimate worksheet represent the same footprint but are separated into staff work space and kennel space as opposed to interior/exterior.

Q. If this project is for the dog kennel building, where will the cats be kept?

A. Fortunately, the property we purchased on Old Olympic Highway currently has three modular homes on it plus a barn. We will be able to use one of the buildings for cats, one for administration and the last for veterinary services. These buildings will meet our needs sufficiently for several years until we are ready to build our cattery/veterinary services building and our administration building.

Q. Why not wait to move until you raise the money for all of the facilities you need?

A. Our current building is more than 50 years old and is in terrible shape. We are in desperate need of a better facility for both animals and humans. It does not make fiscal sense to continue putting money into a building that is antiquated and quite literally, falling apart. The modular buildings at the property will be a huge improvement over what we are currently using.

Q. Is it possible to visit the new location?

A. Yes. We’d love to take you on a tour of the site. Please contact Mary Beth Wegener at (360) 457-8206 to schedule a tour.

Q. Why did you choose this location?

A. The property is centrally located between Port Angeles and Sequim, making it much more convenient for the majority of our visitors, volunteers and staff.. The 9-acres itself is ideal for animals, humans and for future expansion. The site has three existing modular structures and a pole barn, all of which will be used during the first few years for veterinary, cats, administration and storage, saving us money. Our dog walkers will have beautiful walking paths through old growth forest and there is sufficient pasture to provide play areas and areas to shelter larger animals.

Q. Will you be able to take in large animals?

A. Yes. Currently if a farm animal is surrendered or seized by Animal Control, we must find a volunteer to foster the animal before we can take it in. The new property has plenty of pasture area for pens and shelter for these animals.

Q. Do the members of the OPHS Board of Directors financially support this project?

A. Yes. We have 100% participation from our board either through outright gifts or pledges.

Q. How long will construction take from start to finish?

A. The project is anticipated to take eight months.

Q. Why are you using a three-year period for donations?

A. Rather than asking for one large donation over a short period of time, we want to make it easier for our financial supporters to budget their donations for the project. Hopefully, with the three-year period, donors will be able to increase the size of their gifts.

Q. Does OPHS have any long-term debt?

A. OPHS has no long-term debt. The Old Olympic property was purchased for $325,000 in October 2012. The loan was repaid in full in June 2013.

Q. Will any tax money be used for this project?

A. No tax money will be used for the new shelter project. All funds will be personal or corporate donations plus, hopefully, some private grants.

Q. Will the Humane Society’s operating expenses increase when the organization moves to the new location?

A. We have reviewed our operating expenses to anticipate what impact moving to the new shelter complex will have. Here are our thoughts:

1) Animal Expenses – We don’t see a significant increase at least initially. We anticipate our intake numbers will increase over time. Currently we accept all domestic animals needing help and we will continue to do so at the new shelter. We do not euthanize healthy, adoptable animals due to lack of space or length of time they are at the shelter. Those policies will remain the same. The new facility will allow us to provide more space for our animals in far more ideal conditions.

2) Personnel – The staff numbers are tied to the number of animals in our care. Since we do not anticipate a large increase in our animal numbers initially, we do not plan to add staff. We will, however, have far more volunteer  opportunities available to assist with day-to-day chores such as dog walking, laundry and landscape maintenance. The new shelter location between Port Angeles and Sequim will make it easier for people from the Sequim area to volunteer.

3) Facility Expenses

a) We do expect an increase in utility costs due to a larger total area. The current shelter has high heating costs because it is an old, poorly-insulated building. At the new location the existing three modulars and the new dog kennel building are newer and better insulated. It is difficult to estimate the increased utility costs but we are using double current costs in our forecasts.

b) We anticipate the amount spent on repairs to decrease with the move. We incur costs routinely just to keep the current building operational.

4) Operations – We are not expecting a significant increase in operations costs. In fact, insurance costs may decrease because we are currently insuring two locations.

 Q. Is my donation co-mingled with other OPHS funds?

A. No. The account into which the funds are deposited is restricted to “Dig Deep” donations only.

Q. Are the new shelter funds invested until the project begins?

A. The funds are deposited into an interest-bearing money market account at First Federal.

Q. If I elect to donate quarterly over the pledge period, will I be billed?

A. OPHS has a program in partnership with Firsts Federal to debit your account located at any bank on a quarterly basis to deduct your pledge.

Q. What if I want to donate something other than cash?

A. We can discuss that option with you. Please contact Linda Crow, Campaign Chair, at 360-452-5292 or Theresa Killgore, Co-Chair at 360-417-1161.

Q. I want to donate to the “Dig Deep” project now. Also, I really care for animals and believe in the work OPHS is doing. How can I continue to support you in the future?

A. We would love to visit with you about future donations, bequests and planned giving opportunities. Gifts such as those increase our ability to help the animals we’ll care for in the future.

Q. Why is the cost of the dog kennel building more expensive than for a similarly sized residence?

A. Several factors contribute to the higher costs:

-Commercial construction projects, such as our new dog kennel, must conform to different building codes for design components, electrical, mechanical and plumbing. These more restrictive code requirements add additional costs.

-The complexity of providing proper ventilation, heating and sanitary systems increases the costs for this facility even more than a normal commercial structure. It is important for the visitors and also the health of our animals. A properly designed and functioning mechanical system will greatly enhance the success of the animals in the facility and provide a better environment for our staff and visitors.

-The septic system which must be installed is 2-3 times more expensive than a regular pressurized residential system.

-There are other features that a residential project does not have to deal with. Storm water containment, parking, sidewalks, ADA requirements, more durable doors and hard ware, an internal sprinkler/fire protection system, and more durable finishes on the interior are necessary and add to the costs.

Q. Why are you only building a dog kennel?

A. We are fortunate that the three existing modular structures can be used during the near future to serve our veterinary, cat sheltering and administration functions. Some interior remodeling must be done in each structure to modify for our purposes. The modifications cost much less than building new structures. Using the existing structures initially allows us to lower the cost of moving to the new shelter which helps us move there sooner.

Q. When will you start the new shelter construction?

A. We are anxious to move to the new shelter soon in order to give our animals better living conditions. However, we want to make sure we have the funds to finish the project, before we spend major amounts of money on construction. We want to raise a large percentage of the total funds before we start. Ideally, we will being construction in late Spring 2014. That timing depends on how much money is contributed. If possible, we would like to raise the major portion of funds needed in the next few months.

Q. Do you have plans for future construction on the site? If so, when will it begin?

A. OPHS has plans to develop the new shelter site in phases which will be dependent on money raised. Phase 1 is the dog kennel building which we are currently proposing. Phase 2 will be the construction of the veterinarian/cat building. Phase 3 will be the removal of the existing three modular structures and the construction of an administrative building. We hope to complete all phases within 5 years, depending on our ability to raise funds.