Stray dogs, cats and other animals in need will have a contemporary home near Libertyville starting next month when the new Lake County Animal Care and Control facility opens.
The one-story, 10,732-square-foot building at 18736 W. Peterson Road will be run by the Lake County Health Department. Set to open July 25, it will join the health department's outpatient mental health services building on a 5-acre campus.
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"The facility is moving because the current building was not very efficient," said Carolyn Waller, media specialist at the health department.
It replaces the facility at 29278 N. Route 83 near Mundelein that has been animal care and control's home for 20 years. Waller cited that building's location in a flood plain, zoning restrictions and its deteriorating condition as issues that limited renovations and made new construction a more cost-effective option.
The new facility cost $3.5 million to build, she said.
"We saved over time to make sure that we had all monies up front," said Jerry Nordstrom, the health department's director of administrative services. "Construction began last spring, so just about a year ago."
With its 35 dog kennels and a dedicated cat room, the new facility will be able to serve as a temporary shelter for as many as 50 dogs and 50 cats monthly. It will also provide care for other animals, such as birds and reptiles.
"It's a rotating inventory, so to speak," said Robin Van Sickle, program coordinator at animal care and control.
Green measures were taken during construction to install energy efficient features throughout the new facility, from lighting fixtures to water-filling stations, according to officials.
"We tried to make sure we took advantage of current technology," Nordstrom said.
The new building has a grooming/washing room, separate spaces for less-traditional pets, a garage for safe transfer of animals, a conference room and an office space. It also will feature security cameras to prevent break-ins, according to the county.
The animal care and control program is designed to care for stray or injured animals, prevent the spread of rabies, investigate animal cruelty or dangerous animals and enforce county ordinances and state laws regarding animal-related complaints, among other services, according to the health department website.
The current facility was built in the 1970s, and the health department moved into the building in 1995. Officials said the building eventually will be demolished.
"I can't really think of anything that I'll miss," Van Sickle said of the current facility.
The current animal care and control center will accept animals until July 18 before they are transferred to the new facility. The new home near Libertyville will start taking in animals July 21.