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New Animal Welfare Center opens to public

The new Mustang Animal Shelter is the only municipal welfare center that has enclosed patios for cats and dogs. What center officials call the “catio” is pictured at right, where felines can get fresh air while playing on a tower. Photo / Haley Humphrey

Animal Welfare supervisor Jill Heck was all smiles June 1 at the new shelter’s grand opening, as she gave tours to community members.

Facing the front entrance, the left side of the shelter is home to feline friends. There are 18 new cat kennels.

Eight quads also line the area, which can house up to two cats, depending on their size. The three sets of quads came from the old shelter.

Natural light pours into the facility for felines to sunbathe inside their kennels. The center is the first municipal shelter that has a “catio,” an enclosed outdoor area for felines to play.

Canines also have their own patio on the right side of the center. They have 12 new kennels.

Both animals have their own adoption space off their quarters.

Treatment of intakes is important to center staff. A triage area is located at the back of the center to evaluate animals’ health, as well as to take pictures of them.

Also toward the back is a quarantine room for animals, who have an infection, to prevent contamination until they recover. The area is a first for the shelter.

Officers have more room in the new facility, as well. A breakroom and officer area are housed inside, complete with a space for a Friends of the Mustang Animal Shelter member, whom Heck said has been a valued partner.

Police officer Shana Cannon works alongside Heck, who has been with the center since 2018.

Gatherings can also take place in the center’s community room.

“I’m proud of the overall project,” Police Chief Rob Groseclose said. “I’m very humbled to work for a city and citizens who were so supportive of our goals and dreams.”

The design stage of the shelter began about three years ago. Concrete was poured April 2020 for the 5,900-square-foot facility.

It’s significantly larger than the older shelter, which was about 1,000 square feet, Groseclose said.

The final cost of the center came in about $70,000 under budget, the chief said. It was funded by the city’s 1 cent sales tax.

The completion cost was budgeted at about $1.6 million. 

The Oklahoma Environmental Management Authority, which collects the city’s trash, will be housed in the old animal welfare center building to monitor where debris is hauled to the Public Works yard.

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