T he Calaveras Humane Society this year will open a full-service animal shelter in Angels Camp, the first of its kind in Calaveras County.

The organization purchased a building at 1209 Highway 49, near Spence Ranch Feed and Supply and the Angels Camp Veterinary Hospital. The building will be remodeled to include housing for dogs, cats and small animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs. The 4,000-square-foot building will also include office space, “get acquainted” rooms, grooming areas and more.

The shelter will be a “no kill” facility, which is defined as an agency with a live release rate above 90 percent.

“We will primarily accept owner-surrendered animal;s from the public on a space-available basis,” said Executive Director Dee Dee Drake in a press release. “Because they must give priority housing to stray dogs and cats, Calaveras County Animal Services sometimes need to turn away people seeking to rehome their own pets. The Calaveras Humane Society will provide a safety net by taking in many of these animals that might otherwise have been abandoned, as space allows.”

The society is not a tax-funded government agency and cannot perform direct intake of stray animals, but it plans to accept pets transferred from both the government shelter and from shelters outside the area.

“Many of our area’s stray pets are currently sent to organizations and rescues outside the county for adoption once their holding period is up,” Drake said. “We look forward to enabling many of these former strays to be adopted right here in Calaveras.”

The society currently houses its pets in volunteer foster homes, and will continue to do so with underage kittens and puppies.

“We wouldn’t be able to accept those ‘special needs’ surrenders unless they had a cozy environment where they can recover from an illness or injury, or just grow old enough for adoption,” Drake said.

Funding for the remodel and operation of the new shelter is being made possible via donations, bequests, income from the organization’s Arnold Thrift Store and community support. The seed money came from the late Barbara Brooks, one of the organization’s founders.

Drake said that a donations from one person made the “cat half of the facility” possible.

“We have other naming opportunities available and encourage supporters to contact us,” she added.

The society will continue its other programs including its Feral Feline program, spay/neuter vouchers, veterinary assistance for low-income seniors and families and other.

The society plans to open the new shelter in the fall.

“I can’t think of a better way to be celebrating our first 40 years than by opening this shelter for the people and pets of the community,” Drake said. “Our new home will allow us to help some many, humans and animals alike, to find the happy endings they deserve.”

For more information about the Calaveras Humane Society or available pets, go online to calaverashumane.org.