The Benefits of SHS’s Kennel 2 Renovation

Since announcing our K2 renovation completion, we have had a lot of questions and concerns regarding the benefits of the new kennel design.

In our announcement blog, which can be read HERE, we discussed a few of the positive additions these kennels will bring to the shelter:

SHS Board and Property Commitee Member, Jeff Milligan stated, “These new kennels are specifically designed to enhance the quality of life for our furry friends. By reducing sounds and visual distractions, as well as providing enhanced kennel space, the Midmark kennels will truly make a difference. We will also be installing acoustic baffles in the kennel wing to further dampen noise. Importantly, these kennels are also designed to be easily reinstalled in our future shelter, making them a smart and fiscally responsible investment.”

In the future, we hope to build a brand-new shelter on our property and these kennels will be able to move right into the new building with easy tear down and re-build capabilities.

Territory Portfolio Manager Midmark Corporation, Matt Christiansen stated these kennels, “…prioritize the well-being of animals, reducing their fear, anxiety, and stress. Our innovative solution includes improved ventilation, reduced visual stimulus, sound dampening, rest benches, and FRP divider panels. Midmark Sani-Kennels are built with a watertight-sealed frame to prevent the spread of disease between kennels…” Read the full quote HERE.

After our announcement we have had community members stress their opinions that the kennels look like a prison or that they look cool, but they don’t actually help the animals. We understand the confusion and want to explain the additional benefits of these beautiful new kennels.

SHS Lead Veterinarian, Dr. Megan states, “The decision to place kennels that had a frosted panel was made with the best interest of our dogs at heart. The purpose of the frosted portion is to reduce stress that the animals feel when other dogs walk by this also allows animals that are shy/fearful to have a place to hide away from and decompress.”

Foster Coordinator, Amanda Smith states, “This style of kennel reduces stressors that we often see in a shelter environment that are caused by visual stimulation, such as constant traffic of both humans and other animals passing by, which causes disruption and inconsistency to routine, two things that are incredibly important to dogs. This visual stimulation can be stressful for all canines- and particularly canines that may be fearful, timid, anxious and or may have reactivity to other animals. By allowing an animal to have their own private space with proper enrichment provided throughout the day, we are doing our best to provide a comfortable temporary space while an animal awaits their forever home. I would invite and encourage our community to set an appointment to come in to SHS to learn more about the work we do on a daily basis and tour our facility with a staff member!”

Kennel Technician, Colby Nootenboom, “There are several benefiting factors such as noise reduction panels and frosted doors to help reduce stress and anxiety. A wider isle to walk dogs through the kennels also helps reduce fear and frustration by removing such close interactions between animals. When dogs can see what they can’t get to, it builds frustration and anxiety, but the new kennels have dramatically reduced reactivity in the kennel.  Almost all of our new kennels are equipped with rest benches to provide space to lie and relax and get off the floor. Along with these benches, most all dogs receive several blankets and/or beds for cushion in their kennels.”

Many of our shelter dogs don’t have the best kennel presence which means even the nicest, sweetest pups bark, jump, lunge, and snap at other dogs while walking down the kennel isle to get outside. This environment was not-only stressful for the dogs, but dangerous. The frosted doors help separate the animals, which ensure a safer environment, plus it’s easier for the dogs to walk the kennel isle.

One big noticeable difference since this upgrade is the decrease in noise in K2. Since the dogs can’t see each other while in their kennels, they aren’t feeling the urge to bark at each other, all day, every day. This is a positive benefit because dogs can get laryngitis from barking too much, which is painful, and it can take a while to heal.

Spokane Humane Society is thankful for the opportunity to renovate K2! If you are interested in helping fund more upgrades that positively impact our shelter animals, donate HERE.