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Animal Rescue Foundation reports: Regional shelter one step closer with draft design

Architect Larry Kom of Castella Kom in Lewiston goes over ARF (Animal Rescue Foundation) plans.

Photo by Lorie Palmer
Architect Larry Kom of Castella Kom in Lewiston goes over ARF (Animal Rescue Foundation) plans.

— A regional animal shelter is one step closer to reality – yet only a small step on its complete journey.

The ARF (Animal Rescue Foundation) held a public meeting at Grangeville High School April 3. More than 40 people attended the informational session where architect Larry Kom, Castella Kom Architects out of Lewiston, presented draft building plans to the attendees.


Veterinarian Dr. Kim Wolfrum speaks during the recent ARF public meeting. About 40 people attended the recent ARF public meeting at Grangeville High School.

ARF fund-raiser on tap for May 11

GRANGEVILLE – So you want to celebrate National Pet Week in style? Get ready to attend the Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) dinner and auction Friday, May 11, at The Gallery.

“Yappy” hour and the silent auction start at 5 p.m., with a sit-down dinner from 6 to 8 p.m. Cost is $25 per person. Seating is limited, so purchase tickets early. Dinner will be chicken parmesan, herbed potatoes, green salad, green beans, bread and a no-host bar. Live music will be provided by Joaquin and Verna Lowe and Dave Dixon. Purchase tickets at Ace Home Center or The Gallery. Dinners to go are slso available.

Raffle prizes will also be available: First prize is a three-night stay at Morning Star Lodge in Kellogg and two water park passes, dinner and welcome basket donated by Jepskys; second prize is a 12-by-15 area rug from Betties Floor and Décor; third prize is a Craftsman tool chest from Ace; and fourth place prize is a family fun in the sun beach tote filled with goodies from Jepskys.

ARF is a non-profit, 501c3 organization and donations are tax deductible. Proceeds go toward the development of a regional animal shelter. ARF’s concept design for this facility will be on display the night of the dinner.

“ARF was started in 2014 and is run by a nine-member volunteer board,” stated president Sara Espeland. “Our dream is for a regional animal shelter and we have steadily been working toward that goal with a presence in the community, a web site and social media.”

Grants for $5,000 from Clearwater Economic Development Association (CEDA) and $10,000 from USDA have gone toward strategic planning and concept design, respectively, Espeland explained.

“We have a letter of support from the City of Grangeville and [about one-half acre] donated land on Airport Road,” she said.

Kom showed the group his architectural drawings and explained them as he went.

“When you do a project such as this, you definitely want to do it right,” he said. “We are certainly in the very early stages of design.”

Kom said he visited, along with ARF board members, several shelters in the region, from neighborhood societies to large facilities and all in between, from Lewiston up through Spokane.

“Looking at those sites was a game changer,” he said. “There is a lot to be aware of and just so much you can do to create the best facility possible.”

He explained he had to account for the slope of the property, the space allowed, easements, right of ways, access, storm water and mechanical aspects for airflow, heat and cooling. The main facility is 130 by 150 feet while the space next to it is available for dog runs and parking, but not actual building.

“There’s just so much to take into consideration, from washing the dog kennels down and where that waste goes, to what type of air flows through the facility and where sick as opposed to healthy animals are housed,” he said. “There are so many complexities that it really is imparative to plan each stage and discuss it thoroughly.”

The draft plans for the facility include separate areas for cats and dogs, including well and ill animals, meet and greet and play areas, examination and procedure rooms and quiet area for recovering or expectant/nursing animals.

In addition, there is reception space, animal washing and grooming areas, staff bathroom and shower, and a meeting/break room. A separate area built to less expensive standards is planned for storage.

“Everywhere we went, we were told, ‘get as much storage as you can,’” Kom said. This is for items including food, bedding and other supplies.

In all, the plans include a 4,700-foot facility and a 1,000-foot storage building. Cost per square foot estimate is approximately $200; however, this depends on material used (such as sound barrier for certain rooms) and what the market is like when building actually takes place.

“Is this one level?” asked Maryanne Davidson, who is on the ARF board.

“Yes,” Kom said, explaining that a one-level was really the only feasible option for the sites. He also went into some detail on the dog kennels, which are currently set to be inside with access to outside space, and cat kennels, which can be stackable to accommodate more dogs.

Meeting attendee Jim Holsinger suggested a pitched roof to allow for snow to slide off, to which Kom said was included.

“I also feel in the plans there should be a public campaign about spaying and neutering pets,” he said.

Board members present there agreed this would be part of ARF’s message.

“Is this a no-kill shelter?” asked audience member Cheryle Miller, to which an adamant “yes!” was given by board members.

She also asked how the shelter would be run and if a veterinarian would be involved.

“We’ve discussed a paid manager and volunteers,” Espeland said.

“And we would love to have a veterinarian – maybe someone just out of school, but we’re not sure yet,” she said. “Even if that wasn’t to work, we have local vets willing to work with us.”

Dr. Kim Wolfrum was at the meeting and said she has chosen not to purchase her own veterinary practice so she has more flexibility. She offers a mobile service, traveling around the area to those who need her services.

“I definitely have a vested interest in spaying and neutering,” she said. “And there is a possibility to get some veterinary interns in the future.”

The question of using wind and solar power for the facility was asked and Kom said it would be “initially a pretty steep front-end cost,” but the building could be retro-fitted for these possibilities in the future.

The public will be informed as ARF continues to plan the facility and as it fund-raises for the project.

Those who wish to learn more about ARF can log onto Send donations to ARF, P.O. Box 72, Grangeville, ID. 83530; make donations at P1FCU; e-mail


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