San Luis Obispo County’s dilapidated animal shelter will likely be replaced by a new $10 million facility.
Saying the current facility is in a deplorable state, the county Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to start the process of building a new shelter rather than renovating the existing building.
“The cat facility is sickening,” said Supervisor Lynn Compton, who recently toured the shelter. “It is a pretty horrific facility.”
The existing facility dates to 1975 and has a leaky roof and many other problems that stress the animals in the shelter and discourage the public from coming in to adopt a pet, said Eric Anderson, the county’s animal services director. It was built on an old landfill, so the ground is sinking in a number of places.
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“The austere and unwelcoming environment often discourages the general public from visiting or lingering at the shelter and thus has an adverse effect on adoption and stray reclaim rates,” Anderson wrote in a staff report.
Supervisors said renovating the existing facility is not a good option. With a price tag of $8 million, renovation would be almost as expensive as building a new one, they said.
“To me, putting a Band-Aid on what we have makes no sense,” Supervisor Frank Mecham said.
The $10 million needed to build a new facility has not been budgeted, and there is no timeline for when construction of a new facility could begin, said Jeff Hamm, director of the county health agency.
The animal shelter is at 885 Oklahoma Ave. The new shelter would likely be built at the end of Oklahoma Avenue near the Sheriff’s Office.
The shelter receives approximately 4,500 animals a year, with 92 percent of them being dogs and cats. The remaining animals have varied widely, including rabbits, alligators, emus, guinea pigs, monkeys and snakes, Anderson said.
It costs about $1 million a year to operate the animal shelter, Anderson said.