Several years in the planning, the Capital Area Humane Society broke ground for the expansion and renovations to help the organization stay on top of demands, and provide a more comfortable environment for its animals.
On Tuesday, the shelter broke ground on the first phase of renovations which is expected to begin May 23, 2016. The expansion and renovations will include a new 5,800 square foot animal intake center, a space to launch a formal anti-cruelty program, improved training areas and an expanded cat adoption area with outdoor access.
"It's so they have a more comfortable environment," said President and CEO Julia Willson. "A lot of our cats come from the outside, and putting them into a shelter where they have a strictly indoor environment can be very stressful."
Because the CAHS is available for a large region, taking in more than 4,500 animals per year, Willson said that they are filling up with animals on a daily basis.
"Our goal for this renovation is to create better spaces for the animals to be more comfortable when they are sheltering, and also to create a lot greater capacity," Willson said.
The current shelter was designed to be ascetically pleasing, and with the redesign, are hoping to bring a more pleasant environment to animal lovers and prospective new forever homes for their animals.
"We are hoping people will be drawn because the shelter is going to be a lot more nicer for people, and for the animals," Willson said. "We think it is going to encourage people to come here because it is going to change the whole environment of the shelter.
"But most importantly, we think it is going to make the shelter better for the animals and give us a lot more capacity so there are a lot more animals coming to us for service."
The projected completion date for the renovations and expansion is Jan 3, 2017.