The Prince William Board of County Supervisors agreed to construct a new 28,105 square-foot animal shelter, which will cost $14.1 million.
The new shelter will be constructed according to the Association of Shelter Veterinarians (ASV) Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters. The material to be used and the ventilation system to be installed will provide a more lasting and humane facility for the animals and staff.
It will have 106 double-sided cat kennels and 56 double-sided dog kennels. Separate spaces will be provided for small mammals, reptiles and birds. The new shelter will also include offices for animal control, dedicated rooms for animal isolation, quarantine and recovery, a multi-purpose room for staff and the community, an adoption lobby and complete veterinarian space.
“It is far past time that we make this necessary investment. The present conditions at the animal shelter are lackluster and dangerous. Residents have come out in high numbers to support better conditions for the animals and the staff. Our community demands and deserves better,” said Supervisor Frank Principi. “After reviewing the details of the three options, constructing a new facility that meets or exceeds all requirements is what’s best for the animals that are housed and the dedicated staff who work at the shelter.”
The current shelter, which was built in 1975 by community volunteers and expanded in 1990, has been in need of replacement for many years.
To the critics who questioned whether the County spends money on other priorities, officials noted that the board budgets significant funds to a number of priorities, including $70 million per year to help County residents experiencing homelessness and other human service needs, the $30 million that went into building the new Central District Police station, and approximately $32 million to build Parkway Elementary school, opening in 2019.