New $5.5M Animal Control Center Aims to Change Perceptions in Des Moines

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Out with the old and in with the new is something Des Moines animal control officials have been wanting for years.

"This facility is very old, outdated and undersized. This facility does not meet the needs of the community nor the expectations of the people or animals that choose to call Des Moines home," said ARL Director of Animal Control Services Joe Stafford.

Tuesday morning the city`s Urban Review and Design Board unveiled a $5.5 million animal control project to replace the existing building at SE 14th Street.  "We are going to be able to provide a progressive animal service that includes things like adoption and community outreach," said Stafford.

The 17,000 square foot building will be located on undeveloped, city-owned land at the corner of SE 14th and Harriet streets.  "Our plan is to get every penny worth out of that $5.5 million because it is going to last us into decades into the future," said Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek.

The new plans also include space for a medical clinic, meeting rooms and an open area for training and public education.  Stafford said, "Instead of animals having to take them up to the main ARL location or one of our satellites, they can simply stay with us."

The Animal Rescue League has been providing the animal control services in Des Moines for years now and says the new facility will be a true lifesaver for the animals.  "It`s a daily fight to try to stay ahead and get all the animals returned home that we can," Stafford said.

The new facility will not only transform the new five-acre plot into an animal control center that is double the size of the current building, it will also transform the public`s perception of animal shelters.  "I believe the people and animals of Des Moines deserve a progressive facility where we can provide progressive services," said Stafford.

In March, the Animal Rescue League signed a ten-year contract with the city of Des Moines to continue providing animal control services.  The project is expected to break ground next spring and be completed by the summer of 2021.

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