Wesley Nicks, Director of Placer County Animal Services, says the county's Tahoe Vista facility, which serves eastern Placer County, couldn't maintain the national standard of animal care required by the Humane Society.
"The existing shelter, built in about 1970, really didn't meet those requirements any longer," says Nicks. "The town of Truckee built a shelter only 13 miles away that is a modern, state-of-the-art facility. So with this 30-year long-term lease agreement, we'll be able to provide sheltering services to our animals and adoption services that meet those modern standards."
Nicks says the agreement will save the county money too.
"We save about $100,000 a year in operating costs by sharing resources with our neighboring municipality, the town of Truckee," says Nicks. "It's a win-win, good deal for the taxpayers, it's a good deal for the animals and it's a good deal for the potential adopting families for animals."
He says no jobs were eliminated because of the agreement.
For services to remain in the existing facility, he says a new shelter, costing at least $4 million, would need to be built.
Animals at the old shelter will be relocated to Truckee and animals impounded by Animal Control Officers east of the Sierra Crest will be brought to the Truckee shelter.
Nicks says at the current Tahoe Vista shelter, the average stay for a dog is three to four months. The average stay at the Truckee facility is 17 days.
He says the Truckee shelter has more kennel space and is significantly quieter, reducing stress to animals.
There are also areas at the Truckee shelter where adopters can interact with cats and kittens in a low-stress environment.
Nicks says the Truckee shelter handles "about 615 animals per year and has capacity for about 1,000 per year."
Placer County operates a shelter in Auburn for the western portion of the county and has plans to build a new shelter there.