HomeNewsCity to resume construction of new Animal Care Center, after years-long hiatus

City to resume construction of new Animal Care Center, after years-long hiatus

The City of Jackson has announced they are resuming construction of the new Animal Care Center building. The process for building the Conalco Drive building started under former Mayor Jerry Gist, and was budgeted at $320,000. 

By 2020, the project cost had been raised to $1.5 million, and was put on hold due to the pandemic. The incomplete building was tarped up and left empty for almost three years. 

In a Facebook post, Conger said, “Great news for our Jackson Animal Care Center! We received the final EPA report, and can resume construction on their new building! Bids for construction completion will go out shortly, and construction will resume after that.”

For several years now, the City of Jackson Animal Care Center staff have expressed the need for a new building. Director Whitney Owen says their current building, at 23 Pinnacle Dr., was built more than 30 years ago and was used as a manufacturing plant and warehouse before the Humane Society bought it in 2007. At that point, the humane society took in about 600 animals a year.

The City of Jackson took over operations in 2017, and has almost tripled animal intake without any increase in kennel space. In 2022, 847 cats and 915 dogs came through the doors. Owen says because they are now taxpayer funded, they cannot turn people away or refuse to answer Animal Control calls. 

During peak seasons, the Animal Care Center houses upwards of 70 dogs and 90 cats at a time. Owen says the industry best practices calls for 50 dogs and 60 cats in the space they have.

“We’re really excited about the prospect of having more kennel space, a more functional layout for the staff and animals, a safer design that enables us to segregate animals and medically quarantine the ones that pose a potential health/safety threat to others, more outdoor space to include multiple play areas for animal enrichment and community activities/involvement,” Owen said. 

Mayor Scott Conger says once they get bids, they will take a closer look at the timeline for the project.

Julia Ewoldt, julia@jacksonpost.news

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