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Night-Drop Kennels for Animals: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The night dropoff system at Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control includes four small cages and two kennel-size cages. Each is equipped with a one-way locking door that, once closed, cannot be reopened by anyone but staff. FORT WAYNE ANIMAL CARE AND CONTROL
As a shelter volunteer for more than 10 years, Susan Danna has seen her share of animals left out in the cold by anonymous relinquishers—usually tied to the front doors of the building or abandoned in boxes. And she has feared for their safety. “Sometimes the dog would break its leash and disappear …” says Danna. “Or a box of kittens or puppies wouldn’t make it through the night.”

So it makes sense that in her other role—as an architect who recently designed a Midwestern animal control facility—Danna was shocked to discover that some people are adamantly opposed to the construction of nighttime relinquishment kennels that would, in her mind, keep those abandoned cats and dogs safe until morning.

“The staff didn’t even hesitate,” she says. “They told me they did not want a night drop-off area because they want people to come in and speak with them about where they found the animal, and [they want to] get information about the pet if it belonged to the people. They currently have a fenced-in area around their shelter—that might be four feet high at most—where people will occasionally dump a dog.”

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