Fri, Jan. 24

New Verde Valley Humane Society facility in the works

Plans for the new Verde Valley Humane Society were unveiled Wednesday at a neighborhood meeting.

"The proposal would expand the shelter to roughly four times its current size," said Cottonwood Community Development Director George Gehlert.

In order to begin construction, the area first needs to be rezoned from AR-43 to I-2 (heavy industrial).

Architect Michael Meldrum said the new building would be roughly 8,000 square feet and include kennel space for 40 dogs and cages for 60 cats. The building would be designed around an approximately 4,000 square-foot internal courtyard area with indoor and outdoor kennels. The fresh-air kennels would face into the courtyard so the building could act as a sound barrier. To further reduce noise and barking, the kennels would be set up so the dogs cannot see each other. Also, the dogs and cats will be separated.

The facility, if approved, would include a cat birthing room, rooms to get acquainted with future pets, veterinarian clinic and an education room that could accommodate community meetings.

The existing building would be refurbished and used as the intake and isolation area.

In a letter to the City of Cottonwood, Meldrum wrote, "The new building shall be constructed by the Verde Valley Humane Society with funds raised from donations and grants. Substantial funds have already been committed by individual donors."

The City of Cottonwood owns the land where the existing facility is. The city will continue leasing the property to the humane society.

The expansion project new heads to the Cottonwood Planning and Zoning Committee on Aug. 21. Gehlert said the issue will be on a September city council agenda. If approved, construction is expected to begin in spring of next year.

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