The goal for any animal shelter is an empty facility, with all the lost and stray animals housed in permanent homes. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case with the Saugerties Animal Shelter, and town officials have determined that renovations are needed to keep its employees and residents more comfortable.
Housed in a building meant to store equipment for the transfer station, the Saugerties Animal Shelter on Route 212 is hoping for improvements that will help the animals housed there. The town board has determined that SEQR review wasn’t necessary before they sought out grants opportunities.
“We feel like all the repairs that we’re considering can be done within the scope of what pre-existing conditions are and will not create environmental impact. That declaration helps with the grant that we’re hoping to get,” said town supervisor Fred Costello. “We’ve been very fortunate. Professionals have been providing their services for free. The architect went above and beyond.”
The plans are quite ambitious.
The current outdoor dog runs were not meant for long-term stays, according to shelter manager Elly Monfett. “We had a dog adopted after 887 days at the Saugerties Animal Shelter. The runs need to be more accommodating.”
Interior and exterior dog run are outlined in the proposed schematics for the updated property, along with a new area for prospective owners to meet dogs, a shallow splash pool, and new dog kennels. Sound-dampening panels will also be added to the room of the shelter housing dogs, which blueprint notes say will reduce barking sounds by 20 percent.
The well-being of shelter cats was also taken into consideration. A new multi-level cat enclosure will be a vast improvement on their current stacked dog crates. Quarantine areas for sick animals, which don’t exist in the shelter’s current layout, will be added. An airborne germ-destroying “pet airapy” system and a separate air supply from rooms that house healthy animals are included in the plans..
Ease of cleaning for employees was a major design concern. The floors will be covered in easy-to-clean Permatek and laid with seamless, washable baseboards. Floors in animal pens will be sloped towards floor drains to catch waste, and removable dri-dek floor mats will be placed in dog enclosures.
Other repairs are structural. The building’s septic tank, which often fills with water and needs to be pumped frequently, will be replaced. The leaky roof will be patched, a new gutter system installed, The mold-infested, leaky covers of the outdoor dog runs will be replaced, the plans say.
The humans who work at and visit the shelter have also been considered. An office area and storage area have been included in the renovation plans and a new bathroom will be added. Monfett says that the shelter also needs a new electric dryer, hot-water heater dishwasher, lighting and camera system.
While there is no specific timeline for the project, Costello said the town hopes to make the improvements by this upcoming July.
Dexter is eight years old, was adopted from the shelter two years ago and then returned this summer. A laid-back couch-lounger, Dexter’s leash etiquette is on point — however, he is not well-suited for a home with children or other pets. He was found roaming the streets of Kingston. Adoption fee $175.
Elfie, a five-year-old Saugerties Animal Shelter resident of a year and a half, loves romps in fenced yards, short walks and long naps. Best suited for a home without children or other pets, Elfie is fond of playing with her ball — she’ll chase after if it it’s thrown, but probably won’t give it back. She was picked up in the Town of Ulster running down Neighborhood Road. Adoption fee $175.
Moo, found in the woods with two kittens five months ago, is about two years old. Fit both for long stints sunning in the windowsill and lively play sessions, she is looking to be the center of someone’s attention after raising a litter. Adoption fee $75.