Guilford County Commissioners approve funds for new animal shelter facility

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Guilford County Commissioners unanimously approved $649,000 for a new animal shelter at a work session Thursday afternoon.

During a presentation of proposed plans for design, Guilford County Animal Services Director Jorge Ortega said the new shelter would have improved facilities for medical care and space for overflow animals during an emergency.

“The biggest is efficiency. So we will be able to provide more efficient services, the mental enrichment and wellbeing of the animals that we’re going to care for, it’s going to be a whole other level, a much different level,” he said.

The proposed 29,860-square-foot facility would replace the existing shelter. Ortega said his team is looking forward to continuing the design process now that more funding is approved.

"The next step is to meet with the architect with the facilities team, and the shelter team and just getting us all back together and the project moving forward. Hopefully, by the end of the year we can have the project at a 100 percent design or before then and get the shelter started,” he said.

Ortega clarified the number of enclosures planned under the design at Thursday's meeting. He explained that the new shelter would include 510 enclosures, as compared to 415 at the current facility.

He added that in some cases, animals may share enclosures and increase the capacity.

The total project is expected to cost nearly $15 million. Commissioners also approved Thursday two additional part-time caretakers for the shelter.

Construction is expected to be complete in May 2021.

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