You have permission to edit this article.
Edit

County’s long-awaited new animal shelter to partially open this week

Western wing opening date set for Nov. 27

  • Updated
  • 0
Photo_News_Animal shelter opening_ front side.jpg

Prince William County's new animal shelter is expected to partially open to the public this Saturday, Nov. 27.

After years of delays, Prince William County’s long-promised new animal shelter will open its doors in a matter of days to local furry friends awaiting adoption – and just in time for the holiday season.  

“We are gearing up for a transition into the new building very soon,” said Anthony Cleveland, chief of Prince William County Police Department’s Animal Control Bureau Division, in a recent email. 

The animals housed in the county’s existing shelter are slated to move into the new facility between Monday, Nov. 22 and Friday, Nov. 26, according to Jeremy Beale, spokesman for Prince William County’s Animal Control Bureau. “Our goal is to have all on-site animals transferred over to the new building by Saturday, Nov. 27.”  

While the exact moving schedule could change, Cleveland said the target date to open the western half of the building to the public is Saturday, Nov. 27. The east wing of the shelter, which houses the adoption area, will not be finished until the spring of 2022, explained Beale.   

The western wing will house staff offices and the animal holding area. The animal shelter has a staff of 25, and all are expected to work inside the new facility after the animals are transferred, Beale said.   

Photo_News_Animal shelter opening_ old new.jpg

Old vs. new: Prince William County's new animal shelter, shown at the front of this drone photo, is about four times the size of the existing, 46-year-old animal shelter, shown at the rear of the photo.

The existing animal shelter was built in 1975 and its replacement has been in the works since 2015. After animal advocates pushed for the cramped 46-year-old building to be enlarged and upgraded, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors voted in 2017 to build a $14.2 million shelter that would meet Association of Shelter Veterinarians guidelines.  

When the initial budget fell short of what was needed, the current board voted in March 2020 to boost the construction budget to $16.7 million. At that time, the shelter was slated to open in the fall of 2021.  

The new shelter is more than 27,000 square feet – about four times the size of the existing shelter – and will accommodate as many as 106 cats and 56 dogs.  

Photo_News_Animal shelter opening_front.jpg

A front view of Prince William County's new animal shelter, which is slated to partially open to the public later this week.

While the shelter’s staff and resident animals will move into the facility soon, an opening celebration is not planned until the new building is fully operational, which is expected sometime next year, Beale said. 

But the wait for a grand opening has not dampened the spirits of local residents who are excited about the opening of the new facility. 

Photo_News_Animal shelter opening_front wide.jpg

The parking lot at the front of Prince William County's new animal shelter, which will partially open to the public in the coming days. The shelter will not be completely finished until sometime next year, according to county officials.

In preparation for the move, the shelter posted on its Facebook page last week about a need for new animal beds at the new facility and asked for donations. “Soon our shelter animals will be transferred over to our new facility, and we want to make sure they have comfortable beds to rest their heads on when they arrive. Quality rest reduces stress in adoptable pets. When pets sleep better, they behave better, which makes them more adoptable,” the post said.  

One day later, the shelter announced it had reached its target goal for donated beds in just four hours and thanked the community for its support.  

“We called and they answered. We expected a few beds to be bought, but all of them was a surprise,” Beale said, adding: “It is always great to see the outpour[ing] of support for the animal shelter. We are very grateful to have a community that cares so much about the health and well-being of our shelter animals.” 

In shelter operations, “every little bit helps,” Beale said. The shelter maintains a request list on its website and invites the community to check it out at https://www.pwcva.gov/department/animal-control/donate.   

Reach Cher Muzyk at cmuzyk@gmail.com 

 

You must be logged in to react.
Click any reaction to login.
0
0
0
0
0

2020 was a year marked by hardships and challenges, but the Prince William community has proven resilient. The Prince William Times is honored to serve as your community companion. To say thank you for your continued support, we’d like to offer all our subscribers -- new or returning --

4 WEEKS FREE DIGITAL AND PRINT ACCESS.

We understand the importance of working to keep our community strong and connected. As we move forward together into 2021, it will take commitment, communication, creativity, and a strong connection with those who are most affected by the stories we cover.

We are dedicated to providing the reliable, local journalism you have come to expect. We are committed to serving you with renewed energy and growing resources. Let the Prince William Times be your community companion throughout 2021, and for many years to come.

Subscribe

Recommended for you

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Page Title

The future of Prince William Times now depends on community support. Your donation will help us continue to improve our journalism through in-depth local news coverage and expanded reader engagement.

Keeping you connected to the Community. Find or Submit your local event here..

Sign Up For Newsletters