Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett today participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for a new Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center that will be located at the intersection of Muncaster Mill Road and Airpark Road, Derwood. The new facility will replace the current outdated shelter that lacks sufficient space and equipment to meet current needs. That 15,737 square-foot structure was built in 1975, and its location at 14645 Rothgeb Drive in Rockville, did not allow for the extent of renovation that was required. In fiscal year 2011, the Police Department’s Animal Services Division and the shelter operator, the Montgomery County Humane Society (MCHS), received 12,561 animal-related calls for service; the shelter staff handled 7,713 domestic and wild animals; and MCHS reunited 1,163 lost pets with their owners and coordinated adoptions of 2,811 domestic animals to new homes.
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Leggett said, “I am proud to celebrate the start of construction of the new Animal Services and Adoption Center that will provide our Animal Services officers with proper facilities from which to protect the public from dangerous animals and enable the County to humanely care for homeless or lost animals. Thanks to all of you here today who have proven your dedication to animal welfare and worked so hard to make this new shelter a reality. We also appreciate the support of MCPAW, which has committed to raising two million dollars in private funds to meet additional center needs.”
MCPAW, Montgomery County Partners for Animal Well-Being, is an independent non-profit that was created to provide financial support for the center. Funds raised by MCPAW will provide enhanced facilities and meet future equipment needs of the Animal Services and Adoption Center.
Joining Leggett at the ceremony were: County Council President Roger Berliner, County Councilmember Phil Andrews, Maryland Delegate Sam Arora (D-19), Director of the Department of General Services David Dise and Assistant Police Chief Betsy Davis.
“Animal lovers in Montgomery County have every reason to be proud of this long-overdue facility,” said Council President Berliner. “As an owner of two dogs, I am particularly pleased that the new adoption center should mean that more abandoned pets will find new and loving homes.”
At 49,160 gross square-feet, the eventual three-building complex will greatly expand the County’s ability to safely and hygienically care for animals; as well as serve as a public adoption center and community education resource for animal care issues. The new facility will be operated by the Montgomery County Police Department’s Animal Services Division, which oversees the isolation, quarantine, and holding of feral, ill or seized animals; investigates complaints about animal cruelty; and provides the licensing and inspection of animal-related business facilities, such as pet shops and riding stables.
Assistant Police Chief Betsy Davis said, “Our Animal Services officers consistently do excellent work responding to a wide variety of calls from dogs running loose to serious animal bites. As we deal with the potential needs of hundreds of thousands of pet-owning households in Montgomery County, we can’t wait to move into this new facility.”
The first floor of the Animal Services and Adoption Center one-and-a-half story building will have easily navigable corridors to accommodate all animal care and housing areas and include a classroom and an on-site veterinary clinic. The second floor will contain office space, conference and break rooms and mechanical functions. Three public entrances will be located along the south façade; one for adoptions, one for other animal services, and a third entry for after-hours education activities. This structure will be 47,193 gross square feet. Staff and volunteers will have a walking trail and outdoor screened exercise runs to provide adoptable animals with access to fresh air and exercise.
The Animal Shelter is designed to achieve a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification by incorporating environmentally-sensitive design elements, including skylights and large windows to allow daylight into most of the occupied spaces; a vegetation-covered roof over the adoption areas; water-efficient plumbing fixtures; an energy-efficient building envelope and HVAC design, and; use of recycled and locally manufactured materials. The HVAC systems, designed to provide twelve air changes per hour to help reduce the spread of odors and disease, will contribute to a healthier environment for both people and animals at this new facility.
Two outbuildings, also proposed in plans for the site, may come from donations and will be constructed at a future date. One is a 613 gross square-foot separate rodent-proof bulk food storage building. The second, a 1,354 gross square-foot pole-barn structure with metal siding that will serve as a livestock barn and include four stalls, stacking coops, a feed storage area and a fenced outdoor exercise paddock.
In July 2010, the County Planning Board approved the use of seven acres of a 51-acre parcel for the animal shelter with the remainder of the parcel becoming the new Laytonia Recreational Park.
The construction contractor for the center is Coakley & Williams Construction Inc. The architect is Proffitt & Associates Architects, PC. The cost for constructing this project is estimated at $19.3 million. The new Animal Services and Adoption Center is expected to open in the summer of 2013.
Information about MCPAW’s fundraising efforts can be found at www.mcpaw.org. For more information about the project, check the County’s website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/neighborhoodprojects.