SEQUIM — A new haven for homeless felines has opened in Clallam County.
The Olympic Peninsula Humane Society’s McKay Kitty City Campus, at 91 S. Boyce Road, opened its doors with a dedication and ribbon cutting on Saturday.
The 7,500-square-foot facility — which can house as many as 75 cats, kittens and other small critters — opened with more than 40 cats already in residence.
Luanne Hinkle, executive director of the organization, said it was a major accomplishment to develop a dedicated feline shelter.
“I’m so excited about the grand opening of the McKay Kitty City Campus,” she said. “It’s been a challenge to get everything going during COVID with the capital campaign, supply issues and labor issues, but, by gosh, we did it.”
As a condition of the society’s county permit for the humane society’s animal shelter at 1743 Old Olympic Highway, three mobile homes that had housed felines and administrative and veterinary offices needed to be removed, prompting the need to find another facility. Constructing a new building at the site was cost prohibitive.
The $1.6 million building purchase and remodel was funded by a combination of capital campaign donations, bequests and equipment grants.
McKay Kitty City formerly housed a church with classrooms, and before that, a golf driving range.
Humane society board member Dave Neupert said the new Kitty City was good use for location.
“This has been kind of everything but a cat sanctuary,” he said. “Being able to use this kind of facility is really innovative.
“It’s nice that the cats are in a good place and they’re not where the dogs are — they have all the room they need to roam.”
With the opening of the Boyce Road building, the Old Olympic Highway facility is now for dogs only.
Included in Kitty City are multiple cat rooms with attached outdoor “catios,” allowing felines to experience a bit of the outdoors, as well as cages for non-socialized animals and those requiring isolation or quarantine.
A section of the building has been converted for veterinary services with future plans for diagnostic equipment.
Also included is a large common room that can be used for community outreach, education programs and other events, Hinkle said.
Kitty City will be open by appointment only to reduce stress for the cats.
“That’s best for the animals, and that’s what our charge is about — the best care possible for the animals,” Hinkle said. “I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished here.”
For more information, call 360-457-8206 or visit www.ophumanesociety.org.
Photojournalist Keith Thorpe can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 59050, or at [email protected]