Edmond Animal Shelter Expansion

 

Written by Lea Terry in the December 2019 Issue

Animal Shelter

Within a few days of the Edmond Animal Shelter's opening in 2005, it was already at capacity. Designed to house up to 22 dogs and 40 cats, the shelter takes in around 45 to 50 animals per month, according to Animal Services Supervisor Kenny Stevenson. Part of the increased demand comes from Edmond's rapid growth over the past decade, and with the city nearing 100,000 residents, the number of homeless dogs and cats has increased as well. 

“The growth has had a significant impact on our shelter,” Stevenson said.

The demand is so great that the shelter has been turning to social media to appeal to local residents in hopes of finding homes for more animals. In fact, Stevenson said the shelter routinely runs between 75 to 100 percent over capacity. However, thanks to a long-planned expansion, the shelter’s size will more than double from around 3,000 square feet to around 7,500 square feet. 

Doubling Capacity

“Creating more space for the animals will make living conditions better for them and create better enrichment for all the animals,” Stevenson said. “Shelter employees will be able to work a little more stress-free and with more space, and be able to more efficiently do their jobs.”

After the expansion is complete, the shelter will have approximately 47 dog kennels and could divide them to create even more space if needed. The shelter will also increase its visitation rooms from two to five, creating more space for prospective adopters to spend time one-on-one with animals they’re interested in taking home. 

“The public can actually come in and meet an animal, take an animal into that room, and interact with it in order to make a better, more informed decision on adopting that animal,” Stevenson said. 

Completion in July 2020

Renovations began in July and are expected to be completed in July 2020. While the state’s unpredictable weather has caused some delays, Stevenson said they’re close to being on schedule. The expansion is part of a 10-year plan that the city instituted shortly after the shelter opened, and with Edmond’s significant growth and a steady influx of strays, the time was right to make the long-awaited improvements.

Because of the renovations, the shelter has had to shut down the main entrance and create a temporary entrance. The shelter has put up safety signs to inform visitors of the changes and has also shut down some areas for the public’s safety. Stevenson said the payoff will be an improved experience for people and animals alike, and the ability to more effectively care for Edmond’s stray population. 

“We’ll hopefully be able to have more adoption events once the construction is done, and that will also allow us to devote time to recruiting some more volunteers,” Stevenson said. Despite the challenges that have come with the expansion, Stevenson said feedback from the community has been overwhelmingly positive.

“We greatly appreciate the citizens of Edmond supporting the expansion of the shelter,” Stevenson said. “I know a lot of cities don’t have that, and we’re excited that we have been given that opportunity.” 

To learn more or volunteer visit www.edmondok.com

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