East Valley animal lovers looking for a new pet from the Arizona Humane Society soon won’t have to drive to Phoenix.
In late October, the society will open its first satellite shelter in Gilbert.
About 50 animals will stay inside a new PetCo at 1015 E. Baseline Road. This is different from the norm, where organizations bring in cats and dogs to pet stores during certain hours. In this case, the animals will live and be cared for in the 1,200-square-foot facility while they wait to be adopted.
It’s a big "answer to prayers," for the humane society, said spokeswoman Kim Noetzel. "As we see this Valley grow and we see the neighborhoods getting farther away from our existing shelters, to move to these growing areas is not fiscally feasible," she said.
The humane society will pay about half the cost of building and equipping the shelter over the next three years, which amounts to $84,000, Noetzel said. Best yet, they won’t have to pay rent.
"They really gave us a smokin’ deal," she said. "It’s really an incredible gift from PetCo."
Steve Nosbisch, district manager for PetCo, said the company already encourages pet lovers to adopt from shelters first. This is just one more step forward.
It will be the first PetCo in the country to have this type of relationship, he said. The company hopes to expand the idea after seeing how it goes over the next six months.
The humane society will still only accept lost or found pets at its Sunnyslope facility, Noetzel said. The Gilbert outlet will only be an adoption center.
The shelter will have 12 dog runs for large breeds, a playroom for four puppies, two cat colony rooms that will hold eight cats, 12 individual cat kennels and 12 spaces for "critters" such as guinea pigs and rabbits.
Arizona Humane Society pet shelter in East Valley Location: 1015 E. Baseline Road, Gilbert Opens: Late October Purpose: Shelter for adoptions only. Dropoffs must be taken to the Sunnyslope facility, 1311 W. Hatcher Road, Phoenix