The outcry over Animal Care Services' use of a dog holding facility at Brooks City Base that is inaccessible to the public continues -- despite construction of a new Animal Care Services adoption center across from the zoo.
Spokeswoman Melissa Sparks, of the city’s Capital Improvements Management Services, said that project is nearing completion.
"People will come in here with their animals (that) they'll register," Sparks said, referring to a spay/neuter clinic that will be open to the public.
There will also be an open-air pavilion for adoption events and a large building where people can view adoptable dogs and cats.
"On this side, these are just indoor kennels, but on this side over here, it's going to be indoor/outdoor kennels," Sparks said.
Everything is designed around getting more animals adopted.
"We're really trying to bring home the fact that this is for adoptions," she said.
All of that will be substantially complete by the end of October.
That means ACS will be able to bring animals to the new facility that they now have at the Brooks City Base location.
he Brooks facility is basically an overflow for ACS, but animal advocates say sometimes dogs there are not found on the ACS website and are euthanized. And that conditions are bad.
They assailed ACS Director Kathy Davis at a meeting Wednesday night at an ACS Advisory Board Meeting.
"The worst hell of a prison a dog could live in," was how one woman described Brooks.
"The Brooks dogs have been unseen, unheard and unaccounted for," said another unidentified woman.
But ACS said its procedures add up to success.
"We're at 77 percent live-release,” Davis said. “We're at 86 percent live-release for healthy and treatable pets."
And she said there is a new plan to open up 65 new cages for adoptions by transferring the bite quarantined animals to Brooks.
In addition to the new facility that will begin adopting out animals this fall, the Animal Defense League will also be helping.
The city has contracted with that organization to start taking animals and housing them next fall, taking in at least 3,100 per year.