Daphne making plans for animal shelter


DAPHNE – Daphne is moving forward with efforts to build a new animal shelter that could be completed within two years, Mayor Robin LeJeune said.

The Daphne City Council voted Monday, June 21, to hire Animal Arts Design Studios of Boulder, Colo. to design the new shelter on Johnson Street.

“We’ve got a great company out of Colorado that does nothing but animal shelters,” LeJeune said. “This is for me to sign the contract with them and to get them to design a new building that will go at the same location as the current shelter.”

The new shelter will be a 9,554 square-foot facility. The building will have 7,239 square feet of interior space and 2,316 square-feet of exterior space, according to the proposal approved by the council. The facility will also include a 1,200 square-foot prefabricated storage building.

The city will pay Animal Arts Design Studio $23,885 to design the new building. At a previous meeting, LeJeune said the total cost of the new shelter could be more than $4 million.

The mayor said city officials hope that the new facility can be open within two years. “Depending on construction and cost of everything, we would hope for two years,” he said. “That would be the goal.”

LeJeune said officials and community members realize that the population has outgrown the capacity of the current shelter, the Dr. Albert Corte Animal Shelter, and a new facility is needed.

“It’s an old building,” LeJeune said. “We’re all behind this. That was the number one goal when I came into office. We moved it forward. We found this group. They did needs assessment and now the next step is to get the design done and then once the design’s done, we can move forward and get the engineering done and then we’ll move forward and start construction.”

The new facility would be built on the same property where the current shelter is located on Johnson Road, west of U.S. 98. The Corte Shelter will remain in operation while the new building is constructed.

The shelter takes in 800 to 1,000 animals a year. About one third are adopted, rescued or reclaimed, according to city reports.