PAWS for MAPS 4 proposes plan for new shelter

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OKLAHOMA CITY – A proposal for a new animal shelter in Oklahoma City was presented to Mayor Holt and City council Thursday.

The group is called PAWS (Project Animal Welfare Shelter) for MAPS 4, they started the morning chanting for a change.

Folks that work closely with Oklahoma City Animal Welfare, hoping for a brand new building.

“If you’ve never had to walk in the euthanasia room and see those animals, they’re piled in cages, there’s puppies. These aren’t just sick animals,  most of them are healthy” said Karlee Wright with Pet Angels Rescue.

Staff says 476 animals were euthanized at the Oklahoma City Animal Welfare Facility, just in the month of June.

The group with PAWS for MAPS 4, trying to make that number zero.

“If we want to meet no-kill goals that means we have to be able to hold the dogs longer. In order to be able to hold the dogs longer, you have to have a larger facility whenever the shelter is taking anywhere from 75 to 100 animals a day” said Dana Huckaby with Pet Angels Rescue.

The group filled city council chambers Thursday.

They’re asking for about $43 million to build a brand new facility, as part of the MAPS 4 project.

“We have one of the best zoos in the country and of the worst, most obsolete of animal shelters,” said Education Director Louisa McCune.

Leaders with animal welfare say the current facility has a variety of issues, including overcrowding and facilities that are outdated.

“It was designed when we had 30% fewer in our population. It was designed with no regard to modern understandings of animal sheltering” said McCune.

Thursday they presented renderings of what the facility would look like.

The new facility would:

  • Provide vastly improved public areas and necessary office space
  • Provide excellent veterinary facilities including equipment
  • Provide a welcoming, attractive architecture
  • Allow separate entrances for safety; sick animals would not be using the same entrance as healthy animals; adoption and surrender would have separate entrances
  • Provide a vastly-improved environment for visitors and animals
  • Provide larger cages to meet demand
  • Use all of the best practices for contemporary animal sheltering
  • Provide unique spaces for partner organizations
  • Provide unique species-specific space like an aviary and cattery
  • Improve livestock barn
  • Restore the existing pet memorial area dating to the late 1940s
  • Provide vastly improve the park-like setting and attractive entrance

“Entertainment is one thing, but quality of life often has to do with the car on your pillow or the dog at the foot of your bed,” said McCune.

Voting for MAPS 4 projects should happen sometime in December.

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