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City Council approves more money to expand Huntsville Animal Shelter

Shelter representatives said that when the shelter was first built it was a kill shelter not meant for long term housing. Now that they're moving towards a no kill shelter, the facility needs to be upgraded to house more animals.

Posted: Jul 27, 2018 5:05 PM

The Huntsville City Council is spending more money to expand the city's animal shelter.

Last night the council voted to pay $28,000 to the architect to design plans to add a new ventilation system and expand the dog kennels. This is on top of the current expansion which is expected to cost over $800,000.

Shelter representatives said that when the shelter was first built it was a kill shelter not meant for long term housing. Now that they're moving towards a no kill shelter, the facility needs to be upgraded to house more animals.

"They're stressed out. They see strangers like us walking in and out they're gonna stress out," said Sean Torgenson who is looking to adopt another dog.

Torgenson has adopted several dogs from the Huntsville Animal Shelter. Today he stopped by to possibly add another to his growing family. Torgenson said he's excited to see the changes that are coming to the shelter and hopes it will improve the quality of life for the dogs.

"I do think they can get a little bit bigger for as many dogs as they have."

Shelter Director Karen Sheppard said, providing the dogs with more room is at the top of their list. "The dogs will have double the amount of space which has been proven to make them happier, more relaxed, less fearful, and have a little more control."

Sheppard said, the expansion will also address an issue that contributes to incoming dogs catching colds. "Our dog ventilation is really poor. The area where all of our dogs are doesn't have new air exchanges or as many air exchanges as it needs."

Santana Rainey -- who is looking for a dog for her son -- said, shelters are needed so the expansion is worth it. "They get tossed out. Animal shelters are needed so they can keep getting them so they don't have to be on the streets."

Once the architect plans are complete they will be up for bid for construction companies. The shelter expects to begin the expansion sometime this fall. They told WAAY 31 the expansion will happen over at least 3 phases.

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