Suffolk animal shelter upgraded

Published 10:29 pm Friday, July 27, 2012

The Suffolk Humane Society says an expanded city animal shelter will help it find homes for more animals.

A ribbon cutting for the expanded, remodeled and renamed Suffolk Animal Care Facility is planned for 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 7, coinciding with the National Night Out celebration, city spokeswoman Debbie George stated in an email.

The facility has been split into separate kennels for newly arrived animals and those ready for adoption, according to George.

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“We were able to provide more sanitary individual kennels, preventing cross contamination issues,” she stated.

In addition to new food prep and wash/grooming areas, “We have provided a total of three examination rooms that will be used for wellness exams and vaccinations performed by veterinarians that come to our facility.”

Aging and failing cooling and heating systems were replaced, she stated, adding that the upgrades, which also include an “open and airy lobby,” will make the facility more welcoming and adoption-friendly.

According to George, the upgrade also includes:

  • A “cat condo” with climbing and lounging areas easily cleaned and sanitized.
  • A puppy/cat display area with the look and feel of a pet store.
  • Three “get acquainted” rooms where prospective adopters and animals can interact.
  • A small outside fenced area for the same purpose.
  • The facility now has 28 new kennels from “one of the best kennel manufacturers.”
  • A dedicated entrance driveway, which before was shared with fleet management.

“The remodel and expansion also will serve to increase our personnel’s morale with facility features that will allow them to do their jobs more effectively,” George stated.

“They can be proud of the new facility and what we can offer the public due to the city’s commitment to … animal care.”

Kay Hurley, the society’s director of community outreach, said, “We’re excited about the expansion of the shelter … It’s going to be amazing. I think it’s a real forward step for Suffolk.”

Suffolk Humane co-sponsors regular adopt-a-thon events to help find homes for the animals.

An adopt-a-thon will be held Sunday at North Suffolk PetSmart, 6243 College Drive, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Summer is the time when more dogs and cats are in need, Hurley said.

“When people move, sometimes they leave their pets behind,” she said.

Sunday’s event will be free and is open to the public, with Suffolk Humane volunteers there to educate people about the organization and pets available for adoption.