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New animal shelter opens Tuesday

Jed Carlson/ Ashley Gotelaere, left, laughs with Kassandra White on Thursday afternoon as they move kennels in the new animal shelter, which is set to open Tuesday.

Labor Day marks the start of a something new for Heaven, Jinx and Keysa. The tabby, shorthair and calico, housed at the Humane Society of Douglas County shelter in South Range, will move to the Superior Animal Shelter at 138 Moccasin Mike Road. The new facility opens for business to the public Tuesday.

"It’s so beautiful," said HSDC shelter director Sheila Keup. "You walk in and it’s very warm and welcoming and clean. And it’s so user-friendly for the staff."

The city of Superior bonded $2.45 million for the project, including design, permits, testing and construction. The 6,300-square foot shelter will house animals from Superior and Douglas County, replacing the Humane Society shelter off County Highway Z and the city’s former 1970s-era dog pound that was torn down in February.

The opening of the new facility is exciting, and something the public pushed hard for, said Linda Cadotte, contract analyst for the city.

The new building has been more than six years in the planning.

"It’s really something for the community to be proud of," Keup said.

The modern facility includes large outside play areas for dogs, a new community room and separate "get-acquainted" rooms for dogs and cats, the shelter director said.

"It seems like three times the size because of how it’s laid out," Keup said.

The site near Bear Creek Park offers additional perks. The Osaugie Trail runs past the building, offering volunteers a perfect spot to walk the dogs.

Lab tables and equipment are being transferred over to the new shelter, but the majority of furnishings are new. A dishwasher will save staff time and an industrial size washer and dryer will cut down on the number of loads of laundry.

"We have what we need to operate, but it’s not our dream yet," said Keup, who calls the furnishing of the building a "work in progress."

The humane society, which has been contracted to run the shelter, still has a wish list and donations are always welcome.

The city, which owns the new building, will contribute $10,000 per month toward shelter operations plus utilities and snow plowing. Cadotte said Douglas County will provide $40,000 annually over the next nine years for operations, as well. But, she said, that is just a fraction of the cost to run the shelter. The nonprofit humane society functions largely on donations from the community.

"We’re wide open to taking money, and different contribution levels will be recognized on the wall" of the new shelter, Keup said.

With the opening of the Superior Animal Shelter, the humane society is shuttering the old facility off of County Road Z. Although it has not yet been listed with a realtor, the building is for sale. Anyone interested in purchasing the old shelter can call HSDC at 715-398-6784.

The Superior Animal Shelter will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week. An open house for the new facility is planned for later this month or early October. More information is available online at