The Idaho Humane Society Comes to Agreement with Idaho Veterinary Medical Association

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The Idaho Humane Society's expanded campus off Overland Road could be open as soon as spring 2017.
  • The Idaho Humane Society's expanded campus off Overland Road could be open as soon as spring 2017.

Last spring, when the Idaho Humane Society kicked off fundraising for a new complex off Overland Road, the Idaho Veterinary Medical Association grew uncomfortable. The new complex would include medical facilities, a teaching hospital and a veterinary student dormitory, as well as walking paths, a man-made lake, a wildlife rescue facility, a memorial garden, a beach and even an amphitheater. The price tag is around $11.5 million.

IVMA members raised concerns that the Humane Society's plan would go beyond offering veterinary services to low-income clients only, and went so far as to take their concerns to the Idaho Legislature. The organization drafted a bill for the current legislative session that would require charity animal groups to focus on veterinary services for low-income families only, but the IVMA and the Humane Society reached an agreement before the bill was brought to the floor. 

Effective in May, the Idaho Humane Society will begin means-testing its clientele to direct its services to low-income clients.

According to a news release from Strategies 360, the agreement has no impact on shelter animal care, pet adoption or spaying and neutering services offered to the general public. Veterinary medical services and surgeries will only be offered to clients who qualify for means-testing.

"We are very pleased we have been able to come to an agreement with the IHS of Boise," said IVMA Board Chairman Dr. Robert Pierce, representing some 600 veterinarians statewide. "This agreement clearly shows the dedication of both sides to define and recognize that we operate in two different arenas with two different areas of focus—and that we need each other."