New Animal Services Building

Updated: March 2022

Background

Orange County Animal Services (OCAS) is the only open admission shelter in Orange County, which means that it accepts all animals, regardless of their temperament or health. The health and well-being of the animals in the care of OCAS is of the utmost importance to Orange County and its community. Most animals are ideal candidates for adoption, yet some come to the shelter suffering from long-term and profound health problems, as a result of being homeless or abused.

In 2016, Former Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs requested that Orange County explore the idea of building a new animal shelter after determining the existing shelter could not be retrofit with an HVAC (heating ventilation and air conditioning) system that was safe and cost effective. The project was started at that point and has continued to progress under the administration of current Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings.

The current shelter was built in 1987 and was considered state-of-the-art at the time, featuring open air kennels for the dog population. The building has gone through a number of renovations over the past decade aimed at improving the comfort of the shelter pets. Animal Services staff are greatly looking forward to the development of the new shelter and how that will best meet the needs and services performed to this community in the modern age.

New Shelter

The new facility will be approximately 50,000 – 70,000 square feet, housing 150 – 250 dog kennels and 175 – 225 cat kennels. The new Animal Services shelter is planned for the same plot of land that the current facility is on, adjacent to the Mall at Millenia.

Current Status

Planning

An assessment is ongoing and Orange County will soon be identifying the designer for the new building.

On Tuesday, March 22, 2022, the Board of County Commissioners selected Bacon Group, Inc. for design of the new Animal Services facility.

Projected Construction Start

Spring 2024

Past Projects to Improve the Existing Structure

Roof Coating for Heat Relief: COMPLETE

  • Roof of building 300, used for dog housing, coated in white sealant, completed in August 2019.
  • Upper windows closed and painted to block sunlight.
  • Surface temperature on roof dropped from 120 – 135 degrees to 88 – 92 degrees.

Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Study: COMPLETE

  • In July 2016, OCAS requested a feasibility study to assess the total financial impact, challenges and benefits relevant to the installation of an HVAC system within its shelter. The original building, constructed in 1987, featured national design-standard open air circulation. The building was not constructed to serve as an adoption center, rather a temporary emergency holding location for dogs in the custody of animal control.
  • The building is currently equipped with a ventilation system that moves air and helps curtail the spread of disease but does not produce cool air.
  • Sick or infirmed animals can be cared for in an area that has conditioned air. The cost of the study was $15,000.
  • The proposed options ranged from $350,000 - $2.8 million, with monthly expenses in the thousands.
  • Portable air conditioning units were considered in the study; however with the design of the building would likely offer little relief.
  • Orange County’s Capital Project division brought the study results to the Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, who opted to upgrade the ventilation of the current facility and explore the idea of a new shelter and asked for a later presentation on that subject.

Ventilation Project: COMPLETE

  • Upgraded ventilation in the dog building, also known as building 300, will improve air flow for the benefit of pets and shelter guests.
  • Although not an air cooling system, the new ventilation does promote better air circulation, which did combat rising summer temperatures.
  • In addition, the design of this ventilation system is credited with helping the shelter combat the 2017 canine influenza outbreak in Florida.
  • The approximate was $450,000 and was completed in the summer of 2017.

Cat Building Project: COMPLETE

  • Cat building, also known as building 500, was renovated to be fully enclosed, have an HVAC system and commercial doors
  • This project was approved by Board of County Commissioners with an approximate cost of $475,000 and was completed in fall 2017.

Interaction Yards Project: COMPLETE

  • Construction of two additional play yards on side of building 300
  • Anticipated cost is $175,000 anticipated completion date by spring 2018.
  • Funding for the project was approved by the Orange County Board of County Commissioners on Dec. 4, 2017.

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