New El Dorado County animal shelter to open in Diamond Springs

A long-awaited new animal shelter facility to serve residents on El Dorado County’s western slope will open Thursday in Diamond Springs.

The new facility, at 6435 Capitol Ave., will house lost, abandoned and abused animals, including cats, dogs, livestock and small animals, according to a county news release. It also includes adoption areas, quarantine areas to safely house sick and injured animals, a barn, pasture areas for livestock and exercise runs for dogs. A public counter will be available for business services, such as obtaining and renewing permits and licenses.

The Animal Services business office at the facility will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Shelter services, including adoptions and kennel access, will be available from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

“The new facility will bring a much more efficient and consumer friendly setting,” Henry Brzezinski, chief of Animal Services, said in a written statement. “For over seven years, our Animal Services shelter and business offices were located in two separate, temporary buildings at 415 and 511 Placerville Drive.”

The public had to seek services in two different buildings, he noted. The old shelter also had limited public parking, and no room for livestock or areas to properly exercise animals.

Construction of the new facility began in March. Funding for the $5.7 million project came from the county’s general fund and tobacco settlement monies. Local animal welfare groups and residents also helped raise funds to purchase needed equipment and enhancements for the project.

The local nonprofit group PAWED – People for Animal Welfare in El Dorado County – and its supporters raised more than $200,000 through the organization’s “Finishing Touches” campaign. The funds were used to purchase equipment for the shelter’s new surgical and grooming rooms, the new barn, turf and shade structures for the dog exercise areas, special cat housing units for the cat adoption area and other items.

Brzezinski said a grand opening celebration and open house will be held in a couple of months.

Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.