Cat lovers can get a caffeine buzz while scoping out potential furry friends in Hailey later this year.
Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley is just a few months away from opening its new, 30,000-square foot facility. It’s six times the size of the current shelter and includes room for a cat café.
“It’s a room where the cats can live comfortably and you can go in with a cup of coffee and visit them in a really nice, natural setting as opposed to pulling them out of a cage and where they’re a little more uncomfortable,” says Jo-Anne Dixon, the shelter's executive director.
She says having more relaxed cats has led to higher adoption rates in other shelters that have opened their own cat cafes.
While the new space is nice, Dixon says the flat plot of land near their current offices will be nice for a different reason: They’ve had to deal with mud slides and wildfires threatening the building in recent years.
Dixon says the new shelter will also serve as a headquarters to spread their no-kill mission to all shelters across Idaho.
“We really see our facility as a training center, a model, a place where we can reach out and support the other shelters throughout the different communities throughout the state,” she says.
Dogs won't take a backseat -- the shelter will also include a space for off-leash pooches and a splash pad.
The shelter has taken in nearly 90 percent of its $16 million goal for the facility after three years of fundraising and is expected to open toward the end of 2018.
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