rescue. reunite. rehome. rethink.
  • Share to Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Print

The Build-Out

  • Bright graphics are one of the many appealing features at the new shelter in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which replaced a facility destroyed by a flood. Diane Webber/Cedar Rapids Animal Care and Control

by Arna Cohen and James Hettinger

After the Flood

The staff of Cedar Rapids Animal Care and Control were over the rainbow when they walked into their brand-new, candy-colored shelter last November, five years after their old facility was destroyed by the worst flood in the city’s history. A converted warehouse on the campus of Kirkwood Community College served as temporary digs while the group raised money to construct the building, but the temporary facility lacked air conditioning and adequate heat. The new, 14,000-square-foot shelter, designed by Jackson & Ryan Architects, can house 43 dogs and 124 cats and includes bright graphics, community cat rooms, outdoor dog runs, and state-of-the-art disease control and safety features. The school donated the on-campus site in exchange for space within the shelter to train veterinary technician students in animal handling and behavior. The Federal Emergency Management Agency covered $1 million of the $4.5 million construction tab; the rest came from a local sales tax enacted to help the city rebuild. Program manager Diane Webber initially came to Cedar Rapids as a first responder after the 2008 flood. Serving as The HSUS’s director of disaster preparedness and shelter management, Webber set up and ran an emergency animal shelter for the city for six weeks; a year and half later, she was asked to return to oversee operations permanently. The new building is a dream come true for Webber. “The city has never had a facility specifically built to house animals.”

  • The surfaces in the Dubuque Regional Humane Society’s new shelter are easy to clean and bright and cheerful, with an eye toward making it easier for visitors to picture the adoptable animals as new pets in their homes. Ronald Tigges

Debuting in Dubuque

In late 2011, it looked like the Dubuque Regional Humane Society’s efforts to raise funds to buy a new building had fallen short. “I called a friend of mine the first of the year 2012, and told her that we weren’t able to buy it,” recalls Jane McCall, the DRHS’s longtime president and CEO. “And she said, ‘Well, would a million dollars help?’ And so, after I stopped crying, I said, ‘Absolutely it would help!’” McCall’s friend was Nan Stuart of Longmont, Colo., and Stuart’s charitable organization, the Hadley and Marion Stuart Foundation, contributed a total of $2 million to the $5 million campaign that enabled the DRHS to open a new animal resource center, known as Kinsey’s Campus, in October. (The center is named in memory of Stuart’s golden retriever Kinsey.) McCall, who recently stepped down after heading the DRHS for 22 years, also oversaw the opening of the group’s previous shelter in 1992. At the new shelter, which is about double the size of the former one, “Everything is so much better, and we have so much more space.” The building, which previously housed a printing business, is centrally located and has plenty of parking, as well as play areas for dogs and a members-only pet park that will generate revenue, McCall says. Key features include separate areas for adoptions and surrenders, cat condos, canine adoption suites, a larger surgical area, a retail store, a room for less-traditional pets such as rabbits and ferrets, an HVAC system that controls the airflow in each individual room, and natural light throughout the building. A community center for humane education is located on the second floor, while a training center for animals is on the first; at the old shelter, the human and animal activities had to share space. McCall says the new shelter, developed with the help of architectural firms the Bacon Group and IIW, as well as kennel manufacturer Shor-Line, is everything she hoped it would be.

Go to for more pictures.

Read the rest of this issue from Animal Sheltering magazine

Back to top

Powered by Blackbaud
nonprofit software