Wednesday August 26, 2009
Metro Animal Services expects adoptions to increase
The walls and roof trusses are nearly finished on the new Metro Animal Services Adoption Center off Newburg Road. Mayor Jerry Abramson toured the construction site of the $2.5 million facility, which will open in January.
“The new adoption center will revolutionize operations at Metro Animal Services,” Abramson said. “This building is much more easily accessible for our community, and the extra space will allow our team to showcase all the great adoptable animals available through MAS.”
Construction on the adoption center began in late May. When completed, volunteers and some staff will permanently locate at the new facility to handle adoptions, said Metro Animal Services Director Dr. Gilles Meloche. Adoptable animals will move to the new center, while animals that are under quarantine, scheduled for surgery, or on temporary hold awaiting return to their owners will remain at the Manslick Road building.
A Modern Building for a Modern Animal Service
The current building was constructed in 1966, when the city’s animal service consisted mainly of holding lost or stray animals. Some parts of the building were never even completed. Even with two additions to the facility, Meloche said the old building is not optimally designed for the demands of processing 15,500 animals annually.
“When the Manslick Road facility was built, it was for stray dogs and lost dogs – and not much else,” said Meloche. “There was no space for cats, no space for medical services or adoptions. We have improvised with the space we do have. The new adoption center will help us meet the needs of a modern animal service.”
Focus on Adoption, Education
In the past three years, adoption rates at Metro Animal Services have increased tenfold – averaging more than 200 animals per month. Meloche expects those numbers to climb even higher with the completion of the Adoption Center.
“This building includes individual “pet-meeting’ rooms so families can spend some time with our adoptable animals before taking them home,” Meloche said. “We have found that taking that extra one-on-one time really helps to match the right kind of animal with the right family.”
The building’s amenities include:
· 20 dog rooms
· Puppy adoption area
· Cat adoption area (room for 50)
· Pocket pet adoption area
· Food prep and laundry
· Staff office, reception area
· Interview rooms
The 10,000 square foot adoption center is the first phase of a multi-phase Metro Animal Services campus. Eventually, all operations move to the Newburg Road site, including an animal care center, education wing, stray wards, quarantine/isolation, cat garden, administration, and a receiving/impoundment/triage area.
When completed, the entire MAS campus will include several buildings, totaling more than 72,000 square feet.
The mayor has appointed a new director and members for the SPOT Fund, Inc. board, an independent group which will lead fundraising efforts to continue to build out the MAS campus.