Thursday, November 15, 2007

Dallas Animal Services & Adoption Center Grand Opening

On October 20th, the new Dallas Animal Services Adoption Center celebrated its Grand Opening. Mayor Tom Leppert was there along with representatives of the city council and various city officials as Dallas residents who had been instrumental in getting the shelter built. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was at 10 a.m., followed by a day of celebration, featuring animal adoptions and family-friendly activities. Kids enjoyed games, crafts, coloring, face-painting and much more. Grownups will get to talk with local experts, including a top dog trainer, a cat behaviorist, wildlife experts and more.

Urban Animal contributor Larry Powell said, "when you walk inside the shelter, you can be forgiven if your jaw drops". It is a huge facility -- and state of the art. Other cities are sending people to study it as the leading model for municipal shelters. " The cost - $11.755 million from 2003 bond program; $3.5 from 1998 bond program, and a $1 million grant from the Ivor O’Connor Morgan Trust. The new 52,000 square foot building replaces both the Oak Cliff shelter, located adjacent to the Dallas Zoo; and the Forney Road shelter, located at 8414 Forney Rd. The new building has a total capacity of almost 800 cats and dogs, including the adoption area and all holding areas; compared with a combined capacity of about 400 provided by the two shelters it replaces.

The new facility, like all capital improvement projects of the city’s Department of Public Works, is designed as a “green” building, meaning it conforms with criteria for LEED Silver Certification established by the U.S. Green Building Council. For example, 50 per cent of the building materials, by cost, were derived from recycled content, and 50 percent of the waste generated during construction was diverted from the landfill. Other “green” features will be more apparent, such as the extensive use of natural lighting inside the building. Six large planters located in the public parking lot actually have a secret identity: they will house the cells that are part of a wastewater treatment system to clean and re-use up to 10,000 gallons of water a day. Energy for the system will be generated by a wind turbine to be located at the north end of the row of planters. This will double as an outdoor sculpture, adding a touch of whimsy to the surroundings.