Butte Humane Society (BHS) Finds its Forever Home

After 110 years, Butte Humane Society (BHS) has finally found its forever home. For a non-profit organization that has faced endless challenges on its mission to uphold animal welfare, BHS is prevailing its long-winded efforts and is now completing construction on a new facility and campus for the animals and community to enjoy. Established in 1911, BHS is one of the oldest non-profit organizations in Butte county. BHS has evolved through the years culminating in the varied services and programs available today that include rescue and adoption, humane education, spay and neuter programs and affordable veterinary care to the public. However, the journey over the years has not always been easy.
For the past 12 years, BHS has been operating out of three different locations spread throughout Chico, with each location facing its own significant challenges. The Dog Adoption Center, located on Fair Street, is located in rented space from the City of Chico, which restricts the organization from intaking animals from outside of Chico city limits and the space to house more than 29 dogs on-site. The Cat Adoption Center and low-cost Veterinary Clinic, located on Longfellow Ave, are miles away from the other locations – making day to day communications and pet transportation more challenging. Lastly, the administration and fundraising offices are in yet another location—a warehouse—where staff does its best to manage the organization from makeshift, cramped offices. Butte County has been waiting for over a century to have an efficient, sufficient animal welfare facility that would serve communities within Butte County and beyond. In 2017, the BHS Board of Directors took the first steps to invite individuals and businesses to make an investment in the community—one that will far surpass the current standards of animal welfare. With over 25,000 square feet of animal space and 10 acres of wide-open space, the BHS Animal Welfare Center will be an amazing place to adopt, volunteer, and learn. Amenities include ample kennel space for both cats and dogs, a state-of-the-art medical care facility with a spacious surgical suite, canine kennels with direct access to outdoor exercise area, community center for meetings, training, education and community events, shelter activity yards, and much more. All of this means that BHS will not only be able to house, care for, and find homes for more animals than ever before, it will help position the organization as the “animal welfare hub” for Butte, Glenn, and Tehama counties.
The need for this new facility could not be greater. In a time where wildfires are running rampant, the community and surrounding areas are faced with unprecedented challenges – one of them being navigating pet ownership in the event of a wildfire. After the notorious Camp Fire in 2018, approximately 15,000 pets were relocated throughout Butte County. Since then, more devastating fires have impacted the county and surrounding counties every year, including the current Dixie and Fawn Fires.
During these tragic events, pets become detached from their owners and are unable to find their way back home. Even if a pet prevails safely with their owner, finding evacuation centers that accept animals during the crisis are often hard to come by and BHS is ready to act as a temporary boarding facility for individuals and families while more permanent plans are made. Additionally, families who are impacted by wildfire crises are oftentimes faced with long-term housing and financial limitations, which means more and more families are being forced to surrender their pets. With the increased rate of displaced, surrendered, and lost animals, BHS’s new facility will be ready to act as a “second responder” in times of natural disasters and help animals and their owners in times of need. The efforts to build a new facility, publicly known as “The Journey Home” Capital Campaign, would not have been possible without the support from our community. A few key players in this journey have been Clif Bar, The Rachael Ray Foundation, The Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation, California Water Service Company, Subaru Chico, Ken Grossman, and Katie Gonser, as well as dozens of dedicated individuals and businesses committed to animal welfare and BHS. The goal for this new facility is to continue upholding its mission of saving lives, finding homes, and inspiring compassion – all while expanding resources and programs to the community. It is the vision of BHS to provide for the well-being of all companion animals; provide affordable veterinary care and make it accessible to all pet owners, without sacrificing high quality resources; address animal overpopulation and reduce the number of unwanted animals through spay/neuter programs; and promote the human-animal bond through adoption, education and outreach programs. The new BHS facility will be able to take in and care for more animals than ever before, alleviating the burden put on local and regional animal shelters, as well as concerned community members who seek affordable medical care for their pets. It also plans to expand the pet food and supply pantry and be able to provide more resources to community members and animal shelters who need assistance in the event of a wildfire or financial limitations. The education and community center will be a place of learning, raising awareness of the importance of animal welfare in our community. BHS also plans to grow the volunteer and foster programs so that it has more hands on deck to care for the animals. BHS is beyond thrilled to introduce the community to its new facility and invites the public to “The Welcome Home” Grand Opening, scheduled for Saturday, November 6, 2021 from 12:30 – 4 pm. All are invited to tour the facility, learn more about BHS and its programs and services and take part in the beginning of what will be the final, “fur-ever” home for Butte County’s oldest animal welfare agency-A home that will deliver quality animal welfare care for decades to come.

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