BOISE -- A proposed Humane Society facility in Boise is raising concern for other veterinarians in the area. They say it will hurt their business and won't benefit the community. Those at the Humane Society say they're just trying to meet growing needs.
The Idaho Humane Society wants to make a 10-acre field off Overland Road the home of its new facility, complete with an adoption center, education center and hospital. But some other vets in the area aren't happy about the idea.
"I feel that it does not benefit anyone in the community," said Dr. Ellen German, the owner of Animal Health Hospital.
German's office is just across the parking lot from the site. She says it would hurt her business and won't help the community since the building isn't moving much closer to where the need is great. "They said this would be centrally-located to help the poor people, but in reality, it is not. The farther you go toward the west into Nampa and Caldwell, those are the people who have more need."
"High visibility means high adoption rates," said Dr. Jeff Rosenthal, CEO of the Idaho Humane Society. "We'll be closer to some veterinary hospitals than we are right now. We'll be farther from some veterinary hospitals that we're close to now."
Rosenthal says the location is perfect and won't hurt business since they're focused on helping people with low-income needs who are sent to them from other vets.
German points out this move could hurt all taxpayers since the Humane Society won't pay property taxes on a prime site. "This land has the potential to get a couple-hundred thousand dollars from a big business to come in there in property taxes."
But Rosenthal says while they won't pay taxes, they will help the community in more significant ways. "We're a large employer and we certainly provide an awful lot of jobs in this valley. We also provide, like all non-profits in the valley, a huge amount of services to the public, and for the good of the community."
German says she's also worried about her business because the proposed facility lists boarding and grooming as possible uses. Rosenthal says those are only listed on the conditional use permit, so that if years in the future they want to offer that, the city will allow it. But right now, they have no plans to do that.
German also circulated a petition against the facility. She says she got around 150 signatures in less than a week.
If you want to hear more on all this, the Boise Planning and Zoning Commission will meet to discuss this issue and the use permit. That happens at 6 p.m. Monday at the Idaho Capitol.