Cats And Canines Get Better Conditions - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Cats And Canines Get Better Conditions

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KALISPELL -

Donations from around the Valley are making some purr-fect plans a reality at the Flathead County Animal Shelter.

Working at an animal shelter is not easy.

"It's difficult at times because we do get a lot of animals that come here that are surrendered and it's sad on both the animals side because they're being turned in, but it's also sad on the previous owner side because a lot of people are turning in their animal because they have nowhere to go," said Niki Sevesind, the dog kennel supervisor.

It may or may not seem like it, but the critters-- and the humans-- at the Flathead County Animal Shelter are happier than ever before, thanks in part to almost $50,000 in donations.

"The shelter's been on a nice improvement course over the last four years," said Cliff Bennett, the animal shelter division director.

Thirty new outdoor kennels with guillotine doors have already been installed. It is not as scary as it sounds.

"Those allow us to open the dog doors for the dogs to go in and out as they please," explained Sevesind.

The additions have changed the way even the six full-time employees, plus one part-time, view the shelter.

"You don't take your dog to the pound. It is an animal shelter. It is a safe place for the animals to stay. It doesn't have a derogative meaning anymore," said Sevesind.

As a municipal shelter, animals cannot be turned away. Even with more than 100 animals on any given day, the shelter boasts a 97% live release rate, only putting an animal down if it displays volatile aggression or debilitating disease.

On their wish list now is a new, cool air circulation system, to prevent kennel cough spreading during the summer and some room added onto the east end to give the cats some more space. County commissioners are already looking at preliminary plans.

Whether you want to adopt, give, or just find more information, click here.

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