County Celebrates New State of the Art, 30,000-Square-Foot OC Animal Care Shelter with Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony
The County of Orange celebrated the completion of OC Animal Care’s new shelter with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on March 7.
The new, modern OC Animal Care shelter at 1630 Victory Road replaces the aging OC Animal Care shelter in Orange built in the 1940s.
“We are here to resolve a critical need in Orange County,” said Supervisor Todd Spitzer, whose Third District is home to the new facility. “This facility will be the hub of education, setting the standard for ethical and transparent animal care for the entire country. The humane treatment in this facility is designed to raise live adoptability rates that currently stand at 96 percent for dogs and 57 percent for cats. The goal is 100 percent responsible adoption for all pets.”
Officials from some of the contract cities, including Tustin, Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Newport Beach, Villa Park and Yorba Linda, were in attendance to take self-guided tours of the new facility. On behalf of his City Council colleagues and staff, Tustin Mayor Al Murray presented the County of Orange with a Certificate of Recognition, stating he looks forward to continuing the partnership. Chairman Andrew Do, First District, said, “To put it in perspective, we were running our animal control operations out of a World War II-era building. We could have chosen to renovate the old facility and stuck with the status quo, but instead we chose to innovate, to improve on our ability to deliver services. This purpose-built shelter designed to host animal and human visitors in a healthy and humane manner is the fruit of that labor. This is a perfect example of what can come when we put our words into action.”
“I’m proud to see the culmination of the County’s efforts, beginning under my Vice Chairmanship in 2012, to approve a property transfer with the community college district and make this project a reality,” said Vice Chairman Shawn Nelson, Fourth District.
Dogs will be housed in indoor/outdoor temperature-controlled kennels and can play in multiple dog exercise yards, which also double as meet-and-greet areas for potential adoptions. Cats will be provided large cages, group cat rooms and even “catios” for their lounging pleasure. The abundant use of natural light, superior ventilation and acoustical control will reduce the stress of the animals, increasing their adoptability.
“Our volunteers have put in more than 18,000 hours comforting and caring for these animals,” said Supervisor Michelle Steel, Second District. “I am so grateful to our staff for all they do. I think we can achieve a 100 percent adoption rate with their dedication and this beautiful new facility.”
Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, Fifth District, had building the new shelter as a top priority when she was appointed as Board Chairwoman in 2016. “It was time to move the project forward,” she said. “We had one shot to do this right, and it turned out phenomenally. This is a significant day for animals, the County of Orange and all of our partners. Whether we’re talking about a dog or a cat, a rabbit, reptile or even something more exotic, every animal deserves compassionate care that focuses on finding them a forever home.”
Construction of the new shelter was approved by the Board of Supervisors on April 12, 2016. OC Public Works and the Board-approved contractor Snyder Langston began construction in August 2016. Land acquisition and construction of the new facility cost approximately $34.5 million.
The new facility is located on an approximately 10-acre site. It includes a two-story, approximately 30,000-square-foot main building, six stand-alone kennel buildings, multiple dog play yards, a “catio” (secured outdoor play area for cats), a barnyard and a “rabbitat” (rabbit housing area). The new OC Animal Care shelter will serve 14 contract cities and unincorporated County areas.
A family-friendly grand opening is scheduled for March 24, when members of the public will be invited to explore the new shelter campus, participate in fun activities and become familiar with the new OC Animal Care facility. After the interpretive grand opening celebration concludes on March 24, members of the public will have the opportunity to adopt animals from the new OC Animal Care facility beginning March 25.
For additional information, please visit www.ocgov.com.
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