FLINT TWP. — The New Year will bring better accommodations for homeless dogs and cats. Cat condos, larger kennels and dog runs are among renovations being planned in an expansion of the Genesee Animal Control Shelter, 4351 W. Pasadena Avenue.
The Planning Commission has approved a site plan that calls for a 11,060 square-foot building expansion.
“The renovations will significantly impact the quality of life for the animals at the shelter,” said Renea M. Kennedy, deputy director.
Four by 10 kennels will replace the double-stacked cages for dogs and the cat condos will replace the cat cages, she said.
The housing improvements are expected to “drastically” reduce animal stress and anxiety, she said. Controlled lighting is also planned to lower stress levels.
Most importantly, improvements of the HVAC system will provide 100 percent fresh air return, designed to eliminate cross-contamination -resulting in healthier animals. The current system pushes air from one ward to another, which has greater potential for spreading disease, she said.
Also the stray animal ward is currently located next to adoption wards and all the animals use the same hallway.
The renovation plan will move the stray animals to the opposite end of the building, again to lower the risk of cross contamination.
Administrative office space is being relocated to provide room to construct the stray animal ward at the back of the building.
An outdoor play/exercise areas for dogs will have an artificial turf that can be easily decontaminated/disinfected, Kennedy said. And there will be a Catio (enclosed patio) for cats to go to enjoy fresh air.
Plans also call for the parking lot to be repaired and restriped.
An incinerator that has not been used for many years will be the first thing to go – probably in January, Kennedy said. The shelter now uses a state-mandated contractor that collects animals for disposal off site.
The renovation groundbreaking is targeted for March and the overall project is expected to be completed in about 18 months, Kennedy said.
She noted that the facility is not changing its animal capacity but needs more room because the 4×10 kennels require more space than the double-stacked cages.