GAUTIER, Miss. (WLOX) - Jackson County Animal Shelter is officially open with specials going on for anyone looking to adopt a new family member.
Right now, an open house is underway that includes special rates and free microchips for every adoption throughout the day. The open house began right after county leaders cut the ribbon the new facility.
The soft opening for the shelter was held in December, which is when the animals got to move into their new digs.
The new 5,000 square-foot building has been four years in the making.
In addition to being aesthetically appealing, the new space is safer and allows for a more efficient operation. It features a bright spacious lobby that can house 30 smaller animals, two visitation rooms, a break room, three offices, and 14 dual-sided kennels for larger dogs.
"It’s just more appealing for everybody and they’re more apt to adopt an animal. That’s our goal to get all the animals adopted as soon as we can,” said Jackson County supervisor Barry Cumbest.
With an advanced heating and air conditioning system and antimicrobial protection to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold, the facility is also safer and cleaner for the animals and the staff.
“In an environment where you have animals this close together, that is huge because if there’s a respiratory problem we’re not passing it along to all the animals,” said Shelter Director Joe Barlow.
Other features include the sanitary flushing trench drainage system, sealed nonporous flooring, and antibacterial kennel panels which will make cleaning and deodorizing easier.
Most importantly, the shelter animals will be able to recover more quickly from and avoid exposure to common contagious illnesses such as kennel cough and parvo.
“I’ve been here through a lot of hard times and seen a lot of bad things, and it just makes my heart happy just being here. It’s gorgeous. That animals love it and it’s good for them,” said Adoption Coordinator Maridee Mallette.
The $1.11 million facility took just over a year to construct. It was designed by Burk-Kleinpeter-Lunsford Engineers/Architect, PLLC and the contractor is D.N.P., Inc. The engineering and design of the second phase, which will consist of an adjacent 7,500 square foot kennel area, will begin this year.