By: Deborah Johnson Wood
Thoughts of visiting an animal shelter to choose a new family pooch or kitten often brings to mind rows of animals in cages. And while getting a new pet is exciting, it's hard to leave the others behind.
Kent County aims to make the environment and the pet selection experience more pleasant for both the people and the animals with the construction of a new 23,000-square-foot Kent County Animal Shelter.
“The new shelter is almost three times the size of the existing one and more centrally located on the campus,” says Bob Mihos, County spokesperson. “We feel the shelter provides an important service to the county and we want to present a healthy environment for that important service.”
Three “get acquainted” rooms—a new feature—provide private spaces where families can get to know their potential pet.
Another significant change is two outside entrances: one for people who want to adopt a pet and the other for bringing in strays and dangerous animals.
Separate holding areas, one for healthy animals and one for sick animals, minimizes the spread of disease. A surgical suite provides space for veterinarians to perform surgeries, if needed.
“We’ve added a training room for those who adopt,” Mihos adds, “where the shelter will offer classes to teach new owners how to take care of their new pets.”
Customers will get to the new shelter via a new access road flanked by people-friendly sidewalks and streetlights.
The $1.8 million road meanders from a new stoplight at Malta Street and Fuller Avenue on the west to the existing entrance on Ball Street to the east, providing easy auto, pedestrian and bicycle access to all areas of the campus, including the Kent County Health Department, the Sheriff’s Department and network180. The road will be completed in October, followed a month later by the completion of the $4.8 million animal shelter.
Source: Bob Mihos, Kent County
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Deborah Johnson Wood is the development news editor for Rapid Growth Media. She can be contacted at [email protected].