The Animal Foundation is a big step closer to becoming a no-kill shelter, and now its new adoption center has opened.
It’s part of the Animal Foundation’s “Mission Possible 2020” campaign.
There’s 28,000-square feet of new space in the new adoption center, and while it won’t increase the shelter’s capacity to house animals, it will increase their capacity to save lives.
It was a warm welcome Tuesday as the Engelstad Foundation Adoption Center opened its doors for the first time. The Animal Foundation broke ground on the new facility in 2017.
“She would want another friend like this,” said Rick Ciani, who was there to adopt a cat.
Ciani was among the first through the doors. He spent time with some kittens at one of the ‘cat suites.’
“This is more interactive than anything I’ve ever seen and you know, it’s amazing,” Ciani said.
The communal areas are a new feature at the adoption center, making it more comfortable for people and felines to get to know each other.
“It really is best practices in how we, how you house animals but we have cat suites that more closely reflect a home type of environment,” said Carly Scholten, COO for the Animal Foundation.
The new facility will primarily be used to house cats and other small animals like rabbits, as well as birds and reptiles, which were all previously kept in portable trailers.
Scholten believes interaction with the animals is key to placing them in forever homes.
A lot of the animals that we’ve had a little more difficult time saving in the past before we had a facility like this are gonna greatly benefit from improved housing and a wonderful atmosphere for adopters to come and meet and greet,” Scholten said.
As for the adoptable dogs, they are still being housed in the bungalows towards the back of the property.
Upgrades to the play areas are in the works. Meanwhile, the Lied Animal Shelter is also undergoing major renovations, which are about two-thirds complete.
The cost altogether, including the new adoption center, is about $32 million.
“I like what they did, and I’ll always support them for what they do,” said Ciani.
The adoption center also has administrative offices and a community center for training, orientation and other events.