Boone County builds new animal shelter in Burlington


BURLINGTON, Ky – Boone County is raising funds for a new animal shelter to replace its current facility.

The existing facility was built in the 1960s. It has ventilation issues, is not accessible, and is located behind a salt dome, making it difficult to find. The current building is also stressful on animals, according to Animal Arts, an organization that designs animal facilities, including animal shelters and veterinary offices.

The new building will be over 16,500 square feet, more than double the old space. The refuge, which has been under discussion since 2014, will span 10 acres in Burlington, Ky. The county is working with the Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky International Airport to find a location, and they have identified two possible locations, neither of which are disclosed.

The architect of the shelter is SMP Design of Cincinnati, and the engineer is Woolpert Inc., also of Cincinnati.

SMP Design of Cincinnati is the architect of the project.  The engineer is Woolpert Inc., also of Cincinnati.

The new facility will include features such as an animal care clinic and separate sections of the building for admission and evacuation, as well as the ability to quarantine sick animals. It will accommodate around 90 animals, the same capacity as the current building.

Colleen Bray, director of animal care and control for Boone County, said the shelter is trying to provide a more modern space with better capacity for the services that the current animal shelter already provides.

“Our staff had identified the shelter as a barrier to being able to be a leader in the field and take care of the animals the way we wanted,” said Matthew Webster, deputy county administrator.

The new shelter will provide separate areas for admission and evacuation.  It can accommodate around 90 animals.

The new shelter will be funded by a combination of public and private funds. Webster said it was the first time the county has attempted to pay for a facility in this manner.

The public / private model allows the shelter to add extended services, such as the veterinary clinic which will provide services such as sterilization. The current animal shelter does not have a clinic, so the animals are sent to Cincinnati for these services.

Webster said the county does not expect taxpayers to fund the additional services. Traditional animal shelter services such as adoption and keeping animals will be funded by tax dollars, and expansion such as the animal care clinic will be funded by donations.

“For the good of our public and for the welfare of the animals involved, this is a victory, a victory for taxpayers and for those involved in the community,” said Judge / Executive Gary Moore.

The location of the new facility has not yet been announced.

The shelter is expected to cost $ 6 million and the project has already received $ 5.25 million, including two donations of $ 1 million from residents Ron and Sherri Lou Noel and the Joanie Bernard Foundation in Cincinnati.

Those wishing to donate to the new animal shelter can do so on The Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky website. Specify that this is for the Boone County Animal Shelter Building Fund when donating.

Boone County hopes to begin construction in the summer of 2022. Construction is expected to take a year, so the shelter would open in 2023.

The county plans to use the site of the current animal shelter to expand the parks office and maintenance divisions.

Northern Kentucky reporter Rachel Berry can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @racheldberry.

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Jennifer R. Strohm