The existing AWS animal shelter was built in 1985 and contained 10 dog kennel runs, and 2 large and 4 small cages for cats. As the county has grown, so too has the demand for our services. Every year, over 500 dogs, puppies, cats and kittens pass through our doors. Additional space was needed to meet the growing demand.
The Board of Directors determined that a multi-year focus on additions and improvements was necessary. The first priority would be a dedicated isolation building to prevent the spread of disease when new dogs and cats are taken into the shelter. Anne Marie Kohlhepp, a member of our Board of Directors, led the renovation team and chaired the capital development fundraising committee.
Isolation Building Added in 2014
Anne Marie and her renovation team worked tirelessly to improve the shelter facilities. After nearly 2 years of planning and construction, a newly completed Isolation facility came on line at the end of 2014.
Cat Room Added in 2016
The renovation team then targeted the cattery. After 2 years of fund raising, the room was gutted and new floor tiles and lighting installed. New cat condo-style housing from Mason Company was installed allowing the cats to move more freely in their caged areas, climbing up and down on various levels, going through portals to visit other cats. There is an open cat colony area for cats to play and interact with each other and with visitors. Three large glass windows and glass doors allow visitors to watch the cats interact from the lobby.
Large Dog Room Renovated in 2017
The renovation team moved on to the dog room which was completed in two phases over a 3 year period. Rusted gates were removed, walls and flooring sanded, lighting replaced, and speakers installed for calming music for the dogs. Durable and more dog-friendly epoxy flooring was put on floors and walls, kennel gates were replaced with stainless steel Shor-Line gates inside and completely replaced on the outside kennels. Some height was also added to the front outside roof overhang, allowing dog walkers and visitors to more easily access and view the dogs from outside. A new overhang was installed on the rear of the building to cover outside kennel runs. Completed in the Fall of 2017
Anne Marie Kohlhepp did not live to see the dog room completed but it bears her name to honor of a truly remarkable woman.
Thanks to all of our supporters for making these renovations possible – they have truly made a difference in the lives and health of the dogs and cats.