The first critically important step in planning for a new, renovated, or expanded shelter is to determine exactly what your needs and budget are. How many animals will need to be handled now and for the next 20 years? How many runs, cages and holding areas are needed to handle those animals? How many support spaces (offices, adoption, interview, receiving, pet get-acquainted, clinic, classroom, garage, kitchen, storage etc.) are needed? How much will construction of the new building cost, and what size staff and operating budget will be needed?
Other questions that must be addressed are: What size and type site is needed? What new programs should be planned for? Should the kennels be completely indoor or indoor/outdoor? What building style is desirable? A major question that deserves careful consideration is: Should the building be the least expensive construction possible or a high-quality building designed to last and look good for 20, 30 or more years?
All of these questions - and over 100 more - must be analyzed and your particular answers determined before any plans are drawn. You can attempt to do this study on your own if you know all of the neccessary questions that need to be answered.
However, the advantage of having an experienced planning and design firm perform the study is that such a firm has current, accurate knowledge about all the latest in animal shelter design, equipment, finishes, and construction costs, in order to assist you in making your selections.
Needs Assessment Studies:
Shelter Planners of America specializes in doing such complete studies for your organization. We will come to your location for a one to two day visit to develop a profile of your operations consisting of over 100 items of information, statistics, and your preferences. We will also evaluate potential or existing sites and make a presentation on important considerations for the facility. The completed study will be in a concise 30 to 40 page format. It will spell out exactly what rooms and spaces are needed in the new or renovated and expanded shelter, how many animals it will house and handle, operating features and the estimated construction cost, staffing level needed and operating budget.