The Placer County Animal Shelter in North Auburn was originally designed as a “Dairy Barn” in the early to mid-’70s. It was used to “temporarily” house dogs only — stray dogs and canines threatening farmers livestock. It was never intended to serve as a “regular” animal shelter.
Placer County, one of the fastest growing counties in California, saw its population reach 109,000 in 1975, spiraling to 350,233 in 2011. Consequently, as population grows, so does the need to shelter more animals.
The Auburn animal shelter is a disgrace to Placer County, an inadequate, dilapidated antique! Finally, funds are being released for a new shelter. For the next 50 years it will be able to accommodate animal intake as population grows.
Life will also be more pleasant for the animals. Instead of being locked in dark kennels, dogs will have outdoor runs to enjoy fresh air and sunlight; and cats will no longer sit in small cages in gloomy rooms. There will be space for unwanted pets like turtles, iguanas, exotic birds, hamsters, etc.
Large and small farm animals, like horses, goats, sheep, chickens and hoarded animals, from Lake Tahoe to Lincoln, will now find refuge at the new shelter. A first-time “acquaintance room” will allow visitors to meet and observe possible future pets.
Currently, people visiting the Auburn shelter can’t wait to leave this depressing place. However, they will want to visit the new state-of-the-art shelter, which will be cheerful and a much happier place, not only for the animals, but also for the dedicated humans operating it.
A new Auburn animal shelter can only be a “win-win” situation for everyone, a place Placer County can be proud of!
MECHELLE BUHAN, Auburn, member of Placer County Animal Services Advisory Committee