Important New Features
There are many exciting new features in the proposed Rancho Coastal Humane Society building expansion project. The following are just a few of the practical improvements that make important differences in the lives of animals every day.
“Charlotte’s Medical Center”
The veterinary medical center is one of the most heavily utilized areas of our shelter, but it is too small and out-of-date to treat all of the animals coming into our care. RCHS works closely with local veterinary clinics that provide services and treatments that the organization’s medical facility cannot accommodate. Services such as X-rays, orthopedic surgeries, isolation, 24-hour intensive care and others must be moved to off-site veterinary hospitals because our medical center is not equipped to offer such treatments.
For more than 50 years, RCHS’s veterinary medical staff have evaluated, treated, operated on and cared for thousands of animals in a 300 square-foot medical area. Our commitment to saving lives requires strong veterinary resources beyond basic treatments and spay and neuter surgeries. The new veterinary medical center will total 4,900 square feet, with separate evaluation, treatment, pharmacy, surgery and recovery areas, and it will be equipped in line with advances made in veterinary medical care and treatment. The new hospital will allow for expanded medical services for many more animals in need without moving them off-site.
Finally, the medical center will have a private, peaceful and respectful Serenity Room for the euthanasia of animals who are too sick to be saved.
Animal Safehouse Kennels
Animals in RCHS’s unique Animal Safehouse Program are currently housed in the public adoption center (when not placed in foster homes). While listed simply as “not available,” it will be safer for both the animals and staff members for animals in protective care to be housed in a non-public area. The new Safehouse Program area will be located in the medical facility, and will have kennels for dogs and cats in temporary care until they can be reunited with their family, or otherwise placed with new families if their owners can no longer care for them.
Each year, RCHS educates hundreds of individuals, primarily children, in a stand-alone building without running water or lavatory facilities. RCHS offers children spring, summer and fall
Camp programs, community service opportunities for teenagers in our local schools, and limited adult education programs in this 800 square-foot building.
The education building also serves as the only conference/meeting room on-site, and it is unavailable much of the time because children’s education programs are given priority. At best, 30 people can be accommodated in the current education building.
The new Learning Center will be 3,983 square feet and include a large multi-purpose room that can be divided into two classrooms to accommodate smaller groups, or opened into one room for larger group meetings. It will also have a small conference room, kitchen, three covered patios for small group activities, storage space for education supplies, and office space for humane educators.
In addition to its use for children’s education programs, the Learning Center can also be used for adult education programs, for the recruitment, training and recognition for the organizations growing volunteer program, and as an area where donors and prospective donors can come together for education and cultivation programs. This is something that is critical to RCHS’s growth as donors and volunteers are indispensable to its operations.
Community Pet Food Bank and Behavior/Training Offices
RCHS’s Pet Food Bank provides pet food and other pet supplies for the benefit of pets living with people on fixed incomes, people who are sick or disabled, working families who are struggling financially, and people who are homeless. The purpose of the program is to help provide care for animals, and keep them with the families who love them.
Currently, pet food is being stored in a building that is falling apart and has areas with mold. It sits on the site for the new Learning Center, and will be torn down. The new pet food bank and behavior training office will provide a healthy facility for pet food storage as well as a work space for volunteers assisting with the pet food bank program. It will also enable RCHS to accept more and larger food donations that can be used to feed animals in the shelter, and that can be shared with others through the pet food bank as well as with local rescue groups in need of pet food for the animals in their care.
RCHS has a cooperative agreement with Kamp K9 who offers public training classes for pets living in the community, and for RCHS shelter animals. Kamp K9 leases RCHS’s training yards at a reduced rate, and in return provides all of the behavior training services for animals in RCHS’s care. Kamp K9 also trains RCHS staff and volunteers who work directly with the animals. The new facility will provide a small office for training staff.