Final designs for a remodeled county animal shelter are close to completion, and the county should be able to look for a contractor in the next few months, according to Eric Anderson, the county animal services manager.
Anderson recently updated shelter volunteers on the project, which he said could be complete by the end of 2012 or the beginning of 2013.
An unsigned email that is going around to animal shelter volunteers is based on a misunderstanding, Anderson said.
The email, of which The Tribune received a copy, says that the county is backing off plans to build a new facility for cats — a “cattery,” in the lingo of the email’s author.
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Anderson said the county never intended to build a new building, as desirable as that would be, because it does not have the money. Rather, it has had money set aside for remodeling.
Cats will benefit from the new design, which will update and extend the cattery and provide such amenities as climbing structures.
Anderson said the facility is old, having been built in the early 1970s. In those days, he said, the shelter was little more than a warehouse for animals.
Over time, he said, the shelter has changed its philosophy and now deals with the animals’ welfare, through such activities as walking, training and socialization. Cats are housed in three separate rooms, Anderson said.
Though the remodel is “moving along at a steady pace,” Anderson said, the capacity for cats will not increase. Rather, “we are trying to improve the quality of the housing area,” he said, while also making the shelter a more appealing place for customers.
As of Thursday, the shelter was “pretty much full,” Anderson said. Its tenants included 75 dogs, 58 cats, two horses and a rabbit.
“We’re starting to see (more) kittens brought in,” Anderson added.