116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Rescued animals in Cedar Rapids have a new home and a little bit more comfort.
The new Cedar Rapids Animal Care and Control Center opens at noon Thursday, more than five years after the old municipal animal shelter was destroyed in the 2008 flood.
Since then, Animal Care and Control had been housed in a temporary facility at 2109 North Towne Lane NE. That building lacked air conditioning, and the warehouse-like facility was hard to keep warm in winter, said shelter manager Diane Webber.
“We weren't able to get the kennel above 55 degrees, and that's just not acceptable for the work we're doing,” she said. “Everything about this facility is 100 times better.”
The new building is located at 900 76th Ave. Drive SW, behind Washington Hall on the Kirkwood Community College campus.
The center's construction cost around $4.55 million. It was paid for with $1 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, with local-option sales tax funds covering the remainder.
FEMA also paid $700,000 to demolish the old building on Old River Road SW and paid $100,000 to replace its contents.
The new 14,000 square-foot facility can house up to 43 dogs and 124 cats at one time, a slight increase from the old facility. Cages could be converted to house more animals in a pinch, Webber said, such as if the shelter has to take in a large number of animals at one time.
The transitional facility also did not meet state code, something the new building remedies by having separate animal housing areas for isolation, quarantine, newly arrived strays and adoptable animals.
It also includes a public area for adoptions and a 900-square foot classroom to be used by Kirkwood veterinary students.
“We just absolutely love it,” Webber said. “Everything about it is set up for more efficient operations and a better use of our time.”
Shelter hours are 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.