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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Pet Talk: New Leavenworth shelter a much better environment for dogs and cats

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  • A four-year project has finally come to fruition. The city of
    Leavenworth has a brand new facility for housing stray dogs and cats
    or those that have been turned in by owners who couldn’t care for
    them.
    The shelter was designed by an architect who specializes in
    animal care facilities and it incorporates features that markedly
    improve the quality of life of impounded animals as well as enhance
    the adoption process. Since more than half are not reclaimed by their
    families, these abandoned pets can have a renewed chance to be taken
    in by loving families.
    The shelter is a fine example of what happens when the well being of
    the animals is made a higher priority. Everyone wins. The animals
    are more content and develop greater potential for adoption. The
    public sees a visit to the shelter as a positive, pleasant
    experience and they adopt. Staff morale is better as euthanasia
    diminishes and most adoptable animals are saved and eventually adopted
    or rescued. The city saves the money it spends on the euthanasia
    process.
    The minute you walk into the building you become aware of some of the
    great features that contribute to the user and pet friendly
    atmosphere. It is quiet. Soundproofing has made it so that the
    noise of barking dogs is not overwhelming. It is airy and bright with
    lots of natural lighting from clerestories and sky light tubes.
    Natural light is known to be important for all living things. It
    helps orient to day and night periods and facilitates Vitamin D
    absorption.
    There is no unpleasant odor associated with the facility. The design
    is such that cleaning and handling of waste is done in non-public
    areas. Sophisticated air flow systems are integrated into the
    building so that air is not shared from area to area. An important
    benefit of this is that animals found to be ill — usually with
    respiratory illness — are isolated into a special room and treated.
    The air from this area is not disseminated elsewhere in the building
    thus preventing the spread of airborne contagious illness.
    Impounded animals are kept for four business days to give an owner
    opportunity to reclaim them. After that time, the animal becomes city
    property and is usually made available for adoption. Viewing areas
    for these pets are in a main central atrium-like corridor just off the
    lobby. On one side cats can been seen in their cages through a glass
    Page 2 of 2 - window that is the back wall of each cage. The cats love this
    arrangement. They always come to the window to play and attract the
    attention of visitors. They even have a shelf to jump up onto for
    naps.
    Adoption dogs are on the right side of the corridor and are seen
    through individual full length windows. They also make every attempt
    to attract attention and impress visitors with their great beauty and
    personality. Prospective adopters are given a chance to interact with
    the pets in special “get acquainted” rooms, or in the case of dogs, in
    outdoor play runs.
    A few other features: Soothing music piped into the dog and cat
    adoption rooms. Shaded outdoor runs for dogs. Large fenced play
    yards for dogs. Some indoor/outdoor kennels so that dogs can spend
    time outdoors at will during the day. This helps those who have a
    strong instinct to be house trained so they do not have to soil
    where they eat and sleep.
    Visit the shelter and consider adopting one of the many wonderful
    dogs, kittens and adult cats that are there waiting for a home. It is
    on Third Street, off Marion, just behind Price Chopper. The hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

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