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Sandy Journal

Animal Shelter Remodel to Make Room for More Cats

Apr 07, 2016 04:13PM ● By Stacy Nielsen

By Stacy Nielsen | [email protected]

Sandy - In June 2015, the Sandy City Council passed an ordinance to eliminate the gas chamber from the Sandy Animal Shelter by the year’s end. It was removed about two months prior than the ordinance mandated. Since the transition to no kill, the shelter will be remodeled and they expect the work to be completed by July 1.  

“July is the busy the season—it’s cat season, and we will have a lot more community cats,” Council Chairwoman Kris Nicholl said. “Hopefully we won’t, because we have good rescue groups we are working with, but we want to be ready for it.” 

Animal Services Director Ian Williams updated the council with last year’s progress and provided the council with the proposed layout as they secured funding for the renovations the beginning of March. The remodel will cost approximately $95,000 to complete. 

The existing shelter layout has a small cat room, divided storage and an abundance of dog kennels. The proposed layout calls for a large cat room, a cat enrichment area, larger consolidated storage space, in addition to a medical suite. 

Last year, the Sandy Animal Shelter took in 416 dogs and 387 cats, of which they were able to save 100 percent of the dogs but only 78 percent of the cats. This means every dog was rescued, adopted or fostered; no dogs were euthanized. They need to meet a 90 percent save rate to meet the no-kill standards.

“We are on track to achieve the no-kill status and intend to meet the goal of the 90 percent save rate for 2016,” Williams said. 

The shelter also opened up three technician positions that have been filled, as they recognized the need to the serve the public. The decision was made to eliminate one full-time officer position in order to bring on the three part-time shelter technicians. These positions are in addition to the six full-time officers they currently employ. 

“This will better serve our purposes going forward,” Williams said about the transition. 

The shelter also recently updated their microchip program and scanners through PetLink, as they have encouraged residents to microchip their pets, suggesting that it will help the shelter return lost pets to their homes quicker. This can help reduce the number of pets that stay at the shelter and enable them to better meet the save rate standards. They are also updating the shelter software that is anticipated to increase efficiency. 

Additionally, they have increased their social media presence on Facebook where residents can see the dogs and cats that are available for adoption. 

“[Kris Nicholl] worked extremely hard to make this happen, and I couldn’t be more proud,” Councilwoman Linda Saville said. 

The council plans to take a tour of the new facility once the remodel has been completed. 

“We are going to do a grand re-opening; it’s just been phenomenal and I can’t believe it’s happened so fast, I couldn’t be happier. There has been so much positive that has come from this,” Nicholl said.