After at least four years of planning and more than 18 months of construction, Yukon’s new animal control facility officially opened Monday.
The new facility, which is bright and airy, will offer a comfortable place for animals being sheltered by the city.
City council members, along with other city officials, helped move animals Friday from the old facility to the new site about a 100 yards to the east. They also cut the ribbon on the new facility.
The old facility eventually will be razed, but for now will remain the central home for Pets and People, a local humane society.
That organization plans to construct its own facility in the near future.
Officials said earlier this month that they hope to break ground around the first of February, although the timetable has not been finalized.
The goal is to have a new Pets and People facility in place by this summer.
Yukon’s new 12,000-square-foot facility cost about $2.3 million, but appears to be under budget, according to city records.
However, officials warn that there are still some invoices that are outstanding and the cost of demolishing the old structure was included in the original $2.6 million estimate.
Mayor Michael McEachern said he is proud of the new facility.
“I am proud for a lot of reasons. We, for the last few years, have not been in a position financially to go after and upgrade the facilities. The old ones are in really sad condition and they needed to be replaced,” he said.
He also said having a separate facility for Pets and People will likely cultivate a better relationship between the two entities.
Pets and People will continue to have an office and some space in the new facility, but will maintain most of its adoptable animals in the old city facility.
“It is a quality of life thing. Now, we have a building to do that and not to have the conflicts,” he said.
Eventually, the goal is to raze the old building, leaving only some dog runs that will be used in emergency situations.
“Those will primarily be used for overflow,” the mayor said.
The new building has 40 dog runs and 86 cat condos, officials have said.
It also has treatment rooms, quarantine rooms and meet-and-greet rooms for perspective adoptive pet owners.
“We’re going to be more active in moving animals to new homes through rescue operations. We want to get them to rescues,” McEachern said.
“This is a big step forward. I would like to have done this three or four years ago, but it is a great deal. It really is.”