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Orange County Considers New Building for Animal Shelter Amid Ventilation Concerns

Photo: Orange County Animal Services.
Photo: Orange County Animal Services.

The only shelter in Orange County that accepts all animals could get money for a new building. Animal Services officials received approval Tuesday from the board of commissioners to explore options for a new space.

The shelter was built in 1987 as a temporary holding facility for dogs. In recent years, its services have expanded. Last year, it housed about 20,000 animals and welcomed more than 100,000 visitors. Officials expect those numbers to grow, but say the building's poor ventilation is uncomfortable for everyone inside. Temperatures can go past 90 degrees.

“If we provide a more comfortable environment for both the animals and the potential adopters and the humans in there, we’re going to continue to see improvement in people’s willingness to come and get these animals,” says Dr. Chris Hunt, director of Orange County Health Services.

Commissioners will review a proposal for a new shelter this fall when the budget comes out. The move comes as Broward and Miami-Dade counties construct new fully-air conditioned animal shelters.

In the meantime, Animal Services will receive funding to temporarily address ventilation at its current facility.