Santa Clara County Animal Shelter Renovations Underway

The Mercury News reports that the Santa Clara County Animal Shelter, a small shelter built out of a farmhouse intended for short term animal stays, has finally had the funding approved to renovate itself into a properly modern no-kill shelter.

The county’s animal care manager, Lisa Jenkins, discussed the $26 million renovation plans, talking about the larger living spaces for dogs and cats with a focus on reducing the animals’ stress levels while homed at the shelter. Current plans include areas for recreation to replace the prison-like environments the animals have been staying in, with an improved adoption center and even a 2,500 square foot barn for neglected livestock taken into the shelter’s care.

Jenkins says these renovations are based on the latest science regarding animal housing and welfare, hoping to update the facilities with the animals’ best interest in mind. The animals homed at the shelter largely come from unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County as well as Gilroy and Morgan Hill. These new renovations couldn’t come soon enough, as the recession forced major funding cuts that the workers have had to cope with, with the situation slowly improving over the years. This year has been the best ever, though, with a new budget of $6.5 billion.

It wasn’t too long ago that just roughly half the animals who would stay at the shelter would be able to leave alive. Now, however, pets are moved through quickly to different adoption agencies, speeding up the process for matching pets with families who want them. Over 3,000 animals move through the shelter each year now, with a dedication to a no-kill policy going forward.