Open House March 28, 2009

SANTA CLARA, Calif., March 2009 : On March 28, Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV) will open California's first regional Animal Community Center that will change the way you think about an animal shelter. The center is one of the first environmentally certified "Green" Animal Community Centers in the United States to offer cage-less animal care and couple an adoption program with a full spectrum of pet and community services under one roof.

"We wanted to make Humane Society Silicon Valley not only the best place to adopt a pet, but the best place to learn about, engage with, and celebrate animals," says HSSV President Christine Benninger. "With our enlightened architecture and design, and home-like habitats for animals awaiting adoption, our center offers a healthy, friendly and comfortable environment for both people and pets that we believe will change the way people view animals, treat animals, and live with animals. Once people visit our new center, they'll realize it's so much more than an animal shelter. That's why we're calling it an Animal Community Center."

HSSV will hold an Open House on Saturday, March 28 from 10 am to 6 pm to showcase the center's new programs and services. The center is located at 901 Ames Avenue near Milpitas Boulevard and Montague Expressway and easily accessible to Highways 101 and 237 and Interstates 680 and 880.

One-Of-A-Kind Center
The new 48,000 square-foot Animal Community Center is situated on nearly five acres of land. Key Features include an affordable Spay/Neuter Medical Center; a Community Dog Park and Training Center; Doggie Daycare, Boarding and Grooming; a Veterinary Hospital with a public viewing room; an Education Center with programs for children, teens and families; a Community events room; a Pet store, and a Pet-friendly cafe.

The cage-less animal habitats will simulate home environments, enabling real-world training opportunities as well as greatly reducing animal stress and behavioral issues created by traditional shelter designs. The center will be able to accommodate up to 10,000 animal adoptions a year.

"We're breaking out of the old paradigm of an animal shelter being a warehouse full of cages for unwanted pets," Benninger remarks.

Unique Approach
HSSV has selected A DOG'S LIFE to provide the center's Doggie Daycare, Boarding, Grooming and Training services. Elena Battles, HSSV's chief operating officer, says working with A DOG'S LIFE benefits HSSV and the community because it allows HSSV to focus on what it does best: finding loving homes for pets, offering affordable medical services and teaching Humane Education programs throughout the community. "By collaborating with experts in their field, we can provide a broader set of pet services to the community and fulfill our mission to save and enhance lives," Battles explains. Battles says A DOG'S LIFE also shares HSSV's philosophies about how quality socialization, exercise, and modern training techniques enhance the human-animal bond. "Their unique approach offers an exceptional service to clients and they bring a depth of expertise from their successful Palo Alto and Sunnyvale locations."

Keith Uchida, owner of A DOG'S LIFE, says that his organization is equally pleased about working with Humane Society Silicon Valley. "We are honored to provide the daycare, boarding, grooming and training services for HSSV's new Animal Community Center. This opportunity will allow us to impact so many more households in the Valley by increasing the human-animal bond and the quality of life for both the two- and four-legged members of our community," Uchida explains.

Environmentally Sustainable Campus
In addition to cutting-edge animal care, HSSV's Animal Community Center is expected to earn a coveted Gold level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Some of the green building features -- which allow HSSV to spend less on operational costs and more on the animals -- include:
An extensive onsite solar system expected to generate 40% of the center's energy needs from renewable sources
A highly efficient kennel cleansing system to ensure proper disinfecting while reducing water use
A reflective "cool" roof to reduce solar heating of the building in the summer & lower A/C bills
Heat recovery wheels in all HVAC systems to capture and reuse heating & cooling during the frequent air ventilation cycles required to prevent the spread of illness
Stained concrete flooring to reduce the amount of chemicals and water needed for cleaning as well as lower power bills by retaining heating and cooling
On-site bioswales to naturally clean rainwater run-off before water enters the sewage treatment system
Artificial turf and native plants in the dog park areas to lower the demand for irrigation water

"Our sustainable, environmentally friendly Animal Community Center not only promotes animals but showcases the ease and beauty of water savings, energy efficiency and building in harmony with nature," Benninger explains. "We believe our new center will be an inspiring model of humane care, community involvement and green building design for shelters and non-profits nationwide."

The $25 million project is funded through public donations.

Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV) is an independent, non-profit agency offering quality adoptions, medical care and education programs to enhance the human-animal bond.

Established in 1929, HSSV has served Silicon Valley for 80 years and found homes for more than 500,000 animals. HSSV is an "open door" shelter and accepts animals 24-hours a day, seven days a week, regardless of any temperament or health related problems. HSSV's new Animal Community Center, opening March 28, 2009, will feature an adoption galleria, affordable spay/neuter medical center, doggie daycare, a boarding and grooming center, education center with programs for children and teens, community dog park and training center, pet store and pet-friendly cafe, community center, and veterinary hospital with a public viewing room. Additional information about HSSV can be found at

Source: Humane Society Silicon Valley