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Revised shelter plan has more room
Change based on public feedback
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Forsyth County News

Under plans presented Thursday, the future Forsyth County Animal Shelter would have space for up to 316 animals.

Based on feedback from the committee and the public, architect Bill Daggett said a few more spots were added to the building program by slightly shrinking the size of larger kennels.

During an August committee meeting, Daggett presented two options: a maximum capacity of 304 animals, if the county could afford the “optimum shelter size” based on lower construction costs, or 240 for the base size.

The proposed blueprint shown at Wednesday’s meeting featured the larger shelter size of about 14,300 square feet.

The building would include separate lobbies for the public and turning in animals, as well as a multipurpose room, surgical suite and cat and dog adoption areas.

The shelter includes 91 spots for dogs and 90 for cats for a total of 181,
but Daggett reached the maximum capacity of 316 animals by counting the spots that could be “double bunked” in times of need.

“We’re designing you a shelter that has tremendous flexibility,” he said.

Room for expansion and optional extras, such as a crematory, were built into the design.

With the annual animal intake estimated at 4,000, Daggett said projections show the county shelter wouldn’t have more than 175 animals remaining at the end of the month if it continues current practices.

“We want to replace euthanasia with better outcomes for these animals,” he said.

The county hopes to reach that goal by implementing programs to increase adoptions and reduce intakes, which Daggett said would take time to reach the full effect.

However, he said the larger size of the new shelter, compared to the current one on Old Atlanta Road, could allow euthanized animals to be reduced to about one-third of intakes.

Approved as part of the November 1-cent sales tax referendum, the shelter will be built on a 4.1-acre site on County Way in north Forsyth off Ga. 400 for about $2.6 million.

Though revenue from the six-year tax extension won’t start coming in until July 2013, the county plans to borrow the money from its reserve fund to build a shelter and pay it back with interest.

The facility is estimated for completion at the start of 2014.

After reviewing the plans, committee members saw their work in the past two years start to pay off.

Chairman John McGruder said the presentation got the group “excited.”

Commissioner Todd Levent, who serves on the committee, said he’s looking forward to groundbreaking and ribbon cutting.

The group has much work still to do on a tight schedule before it makes a recommendation to the county commission.

With that in mind, it scheduled a meeting for 7 p.m. Sept. 26 to discuss any tweaks to the floor plan.