Animal Care & Control seeks to remodel, expand

October 5, 2018

Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control plans to remodel the medical triage area of its shelter.

The $298,700 project will be introduced to the City Council Tuesday night and might be discussed Oct. 16. Animal Care & Control plans to pay for up to half the expense through a capital campaign.

Director Amy-Jo Sites said in a news release Friday the remodeling will improve the level of care and efficiency of the medical team.

According to the ordinance the council will review, the former after-hours depository will be converted to a new surgery department, the existing surgery room will be converted to an animal intake and bereavement room and a necropsy suite will be added through a building expansion.

The project includes renovating 1,297 square feet and adding 346 square feet to Animal Care & Control’s facility at 3020 Hillegas Road near Butler Road on the city’s northwest side.

Sheltering standards and animal care have changed dramatically since the shelter was converted from a Baptist church 20 years ago, officials said.

They said there is currently only one surgical table, one prep table and no designated area for medical exams or necropsies -- animal autopsies -- for cruelty and neglect cases.

“With two surgery tables like what’s going to be in our remodel, that would expedite the process and we would be able to get through those surgeries much quicker, which will open up time for our veterinarian to get through more medical exams, administering more rabies vaccines and more time to conduct cruelty and neglect case exams,” Operations Manager Laura Rowe said in a statement.

Cruelty and neglect cases are a vital service the agency provides, Sites said. 

“Over the last 35 years we have, along with other social service agencies, found a direct link between human and animal violence,” she said.

“What we’re finding is that most cases of domestic violence or battery started with an animal. We don’t have an appropriate space to determine what happened to an animal, and without being able to identify what happened to an animal we can’t take those abusers to court and that circle of violence continues.”


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