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SLO County opens new animal shelter


A grey kitten scampered throughout the ground, stopping to sort out one other kitten busy licking his paws. In the meantime, a plump tuxedo cat snoozed in a close-by cupboard, curled up and oblivious to the kitten’s stunts.

The cats reside in San Luis Obispo County’s new Animal Companies shelter, which opened to the general public on Friday, Sept. 9.

The $20.4 million constructing is situated at 865 Oklahoma Ave. — down the street from the previous shelter that was constructed within the Seventies.

The shelter contains two cat rooms with screened-in out of doors patios, particular person housing for the canines subsequent to a grassy courtyard the place they’ll play, and rooms for reptiles and different small animals.

The 20,000-square-foot constructing can home about 50 canines and 130 cats relying on their measurement, based on San Luis Obispo Animal Companies Director Dr. Eric Anderson.

“It is not a rise within the amount of animal homes, it is actually a qualitative enchancment,” Anderson stated. “The previous place was actually dismal to the purpose the place folks did not need to stroll in.”

The brand new shelter is “comfy and alluring,” Anderson stated, which is able to appeal to extra potential pet mother and father and hopefully enhance adoption charges, he stated.

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Volunteers MJ Leimer, left, and Hallie Webster give Winnie a while outdoors the kennel at San Luis Obispo County’s new Animal Companies Heart. The power will present a greater expertise for animals, purchasers and employees and replaces an outdated constructing that dates to the Seventies. David Middlefield dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Cats and canines have a brand new place to play

On the previous shelter, cats lived in particular person cages till adoption.

The brand new shelter, nonetheless, contains two massive rooms the place cats reside in a group. The rooms are linked to screened-in out of doors patios and are crammed to the brim with toys and nooks and crannies had been the cats can curl up for a nap.

“It provides them extra pure exercise to climb, play — permits for social exercise,” Anderson stated.

The room additionally permits potential pet house owners to play with the cats and get a glimpse of their personalities, “(as) against interacting throughout a set of cage bars,” Anderson stated. “We’re attempting to immerse you on this animal expertise.”

Down the corridor, the shelter additionally has a devoted house for feral cat housing, the place the cats are held in particular person enclosures for six days earlier than becoming a member of the group cat rooms.

“Having all these completely different rooms permits us to be versatile,” Anderson stated. “I can flip that feral cat room right into a mothers and kittens room.”

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Dr. Eric Anderson, Animal Companies supervisor, reveals a brand new cat room with a climbing at San Luis Obispo County’s new Animal Companies Heart. The power will present a greater expertise for animals, purchasers and employees and replaces an outdated constructing that dates to the Seventies. David Middlefield dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Canine even have a brand new housing state of affairs.

On the previous shelter, they lived in a big barn enclosure, which had 5 rows that held about 45 whole canines. The canines had been shut collectively—so if one canine began barking, all of them began barking.

“One canine in a single row begins barking, it units the entire place off,” Anderson stated. That fixed agitation wasn’t nice for his or her psychological well being, I famous.

Now, every canine has its personal stall with indoor and out of doors entry. The canines have extra space and privateness, which eases their anxiousness, Anderson stated. There’s additionally an out of doors, fenced-in courtyard the place they canines can play and meet potential house owners.

Anderson stated he is excited in regards to the shelter’s new facilities, which give the animals the next high quality of life.

“The bodily and the psychological well being of the animals, I am simply actually excited that we will present that,” he stated.

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Volunteer MJ Leimer socializes with the canines at San Luis Obispo County’s new Animal Companies Heart. The power will present a greater expertise for animals, purchasers and employees and replaces an outdated constructing that dates to the Seventies. David Middlefield dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

The shelter additionally features a room for small animals, reminiscent of guinea pigs, rabbits and even two chinchillas. On the opposite aspect of the shelter, reptiles are held in temperature-controlled enclosures, a big enchancment from the final shelter, the place they stored snakes in buckets with scorching rocks and warmth lamps.

The shelter additionally plans to construct a four-to-six-stall barn between now and subsequent summer season. They at present home livestock in an open subject, he stated, they usually often get a number of horses yearly. In 2018, they seized 37 horses from a ranch in North County, seeing a complete of 55 to 57 horses that yr.

“You by no means know what you are going to get,” Anderson stated. “When you get a few cows, you possibly can’t fairly put them in a tupperware or any person’s workplace.”

Shelter format improves workflow

The shelter receives animals in two methods: County residents drop off animals they’ll now not take care of or that they discovered on the road, or Animal Companies picks up stray animals within the subject, he stated.

As soon as an animal enters the shelter, they’re vaccinated, photographed for the web site, microchipped, and moved into housing whereas they wait to be adopted. The constructing is designed with this workflow in thoughts, with the animal consumption room main on to a room the place vaccinations are given. Down the corridor, there is a medical room, quarantine rooms, a room for grooming and extra.

Sometimes, canines keep on the shelter for 10 days, and cats for 18 to twenty days. Stray animals are held for 5 days till they are often adopted out, whereas animals surrendered by house owners might be adopted instantly, Anderson stated.

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Subject Officer Nina Moody works on the dispatch desk at San Luis Obispo County’s new Animal Companies Heart. The power will present a greater expertise for animals, purchasers and employees and replaces an outdated constructing that dates to the Seventies. David Middlefield dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

The brand new shelter additionally has a room for euthanizing animals, which is completed when animals are ailing or aggressive, based on Anderson. Animals taken to the shelter have a 93% reside end result charge, that means 9 out of 10 animals are adopted, he stated.

“So long as an animal is bodily wholesome and temperamentally sound, we’ll preserve them till we discover them a house,” Anderson stated.

On the previous shelter, euthanizing was accomplished in a basic job room that was additionally used for folding laundry and washing dishes.

“It was actually a dismal space,” Anderson stated. “That presents a psychological melancholy for the animals and employees.”

The brand new room is quiet, well-lit and devoted to euthanizing with the intention to create a cushty expertise for the animals and employees, Anderson stated.

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San Luis Obispo County is opening a brand new animal providers middle that guarantees a greater expertise for animals, purchasers and employees. It’s situated on the opposite aspect of Wooden’s Humane Society, and It replaces an outdated facility constructed within the early Seventies. David Middlefield dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

The shelter additionally has its personal medical middle, outfitted to supply shelter animals minor procedures like dental work or treating an abscess, Anderson stated. The shelter will nonetheless ship animals subsequent door to Woods Humane Society for spays and neuters, and can depend on veterinarians for extra intense procedures like fixing damaged legs, he stated.

Down the corridor, the shelter provides visitation rooms the place of us can meet potential pets one-on-one.

The shelter is open to the general public every single day from 1 to five pm People can go to the animals throughout open hours, or they’ll name 805-781-4400 to make an appointment to fulfill particular person animals, Anderson stated.

Cats might be adopted for $81, canines for $148, small pets and birds for $5, and unique animals or livestock for $75, based on the animal providers web site.

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Stephanie Zappelli primarily covers county authorities for the SLO Tribune. She grew up in San Diego and is a fourth-year journalism main at Cal Poly. When not writing, Stephanie enjoys mountaineering, studying and exploring SLO.

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