Why Does A New Shelter Cost So Much?
Designed to withstand the rigors of housing thousands of animals a year, the new building will provide for a minimum of 200 animals at a time, tripling the current capacity of Project Pet’s annual adoption capacity. It will be a well-designed refuge where animals will enjoy natural light, where cat cages will be comfortable, and dog runs large enough to encourage movement and play. It will be a safe haven where air exchanges will meet industry standards and surfaces can be easily cleaned and disinfected.
It is more expensive to build an animal shelter than a comparable commercial or residential building, in part because most animals that come into shelters were never vaccinated or cared for properly by their former owners. This means they are either infected with communicable diseases or more susceptible to catching them. Many of these diseases, such as parvo (dogs) and panleukopenia (cats), are deadly and cannot be cured.
If a shelter is not built to resist these diseases, they can infect the shelter’s entire animal population and force the mass euthanization of hundreds of animals.
To prevent this, an animal shelter must be built with highly specialized features. These include the following:
Separate HVAC systems to prevent the spread of airborne diseases;
Plumbing that can handle the waste of 200-plus animals;
Seamless, disease-resistant flooring and walls that will not harbor deadly disease;
Individual, sanitary kennels and cages;
Properly equipped veterinary facilities for shelter animals and spay/neuter surgeries;
Sealed-off isolation rooms for the treatment and healing of sick animals.
We also want the building to be a venue for social events, so the appearance, ventilation and noise control are critical. We want civic organizations to have meetings in our education rooms upstairs. The center is intended to be a gathering place for humans of all ages: the young who will come to learn why it is important to be a responsible pet owner; adult taxpayers who will see the importance of investing in real solutions that will save lives and tax money; and seniors who will spend time with pets that are being socialized for adoption. A nurturing process that is beneficial to both the senior citizen and the pet.
To provide for all of this, benefiting both the animal and human populations, Project Pet launched a $6.5 million capital campaign to build and operate an adoption, education, outreach and spay/neuter medical clinic.