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After four decades, Beaverhead Animal Shelter looks to upgrade facilities

Posted at 5:34 PM, Apr 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-21 14:59:44-04

DILLON — The Beaverhead Animal Shelter in Dillon has just launched a capital campaign for a new building to replace their 40-year-old structure.

Executive Director Nikki Knight described how the current property is pieced together with multiple problems including drainage and sanitation issues.

She says there’s a lot of love at Beaverhead and they need a new building to help that love grow.

“Our facility is extremely dated and is beginning to not be the most functional place to operate,” said Knight. “Our staff members are spending more time fixing the building than time with the animals and helping them through different mental challenges.”

One small area is only a couple of years old, but most of the building is closer to four decades old with obstacles that get in the way of caring for animals.

“It’s kind of hodgepodged together,” Knight said. “The original shelter was a mobile home that was converted into a shelter and attached on.”

After four decades, Beaverhead Animal Shelter looks to upgrade facilities

Knight says it’s time to give the animals and the community a functional space they can be proud of. So Beaverhead just launched a capital campaign for a new building.

“To be able to have a clean facility that functions well for both animals and the community would be just amazing,” Knight said. “It’s a long time coming.”

Right now they are in the early stages of working with an architect.

Meanwhile, Knight explains since she took over as Executive Director just over a year ago, she has been blown away by the community support through donations and through passion to give pets a forever home. In fact, in 2020 they completely cleared the shelter of adoptable animals twice. Now for the dozens of pets who still, or may one day call Beaverhead a temporary home she is hopeful everyone can come together and create a space to be proud of.

“We are here to be a community resource and we want to be a functional place for that to happen,” said Knight.

MTN News will continue to follow updates as the shelter makes progress. Beaverhead hopes to gather strong community support for the project. Reach out if you want to help.

Meanwhile, they are also looking for a special home for one of the pets you saw in the story.

Sheba is a three-year-old female German Shepherd, seen sitting with Nikki during our interview. True to her breed, Nikki says she's loyal and sharp as a tack. Sheba would be most successful as a single pet. Sheba came to the shelter with a high amount of anxiety, which is only magnified in a kennel environment. They would love to see her placed in an adoptive or foster home quickly. She loves her training sessions and thrives when she can put her brain to puzzles and tasks. A home with previous Shepherd experience would be ideal, but not completely necessary. Contact Beaverhead if you are interested in Sheba or any of the other adoptable pets ranging from dogs to cats to rabbits and even rats.