Catawba County’s new Animal Shelter at 201 Government Services Drive in Newton was officially dedicated at a ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday (June 26).
The new shelter more than doubles the capacity of the old shelter, providing a safer, healthier environment for animals housed in the shelter and for the staff in a building built with the most current LEED energy efficient design.
It also marks the beginning of a new public/private partnership between the county and the Humane Society of Catawba County, which will oversee all animal adoptions and the care of all animals, other than those in quarantine. The county will contract with the Humane Society for its services for $207,000 per year. The funds will come from the existing Animal Services budget with no increase in the budget.
The previous animal shelter was built in 1985 and had a capacity of 78 animals. Renovations in 2005 and 2011 increased the capacity to 102 animals, but the old shelter consistently exceeded that number of animals per day since 2010.
Separate intake and adoption lobbies that will allow staff to intake animals that have not been evaluated for adoptability and safely keep them segregated from animals that have already been deemed adoptable. The adoption lobby will also provide a more comfortable place for citizens who are considering adopting an animal to meet and become acquainted with those animals.
Indoor and outdoor runs will reduce the need for staff to physically move each animal multiple times each day. Animals will now be easily moved to outdoor runs so indoor areas may be properly cleaned. Outdoor runs will also provide a healthier atmosphere for the animals.
A designated quarantine area will allow staff to separate sick or injured animals, dangerous and potentially dangerous dogs, and animals that have been brought to the shelter due to a biting incident.
The 17,500 square foot shelter was designed by Daggett & Grigg Architects. Edison Foard Inc. of Charlotte was the general contractor for the project and was awarded a bid in the amount of $3,323,410. Those funds were set aside by the county over several years before construction began in early 2013.
For more information, call 828-464-7686 or visit www.catawbacountync.gov/animal.