The Civic Center in Irvine, Calif., on Jan. 12, 2021. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
The Irvine City Council in Southern California on Aug. 8 unanimously approved $25 million for the renovation of the Irvine Animal Care Shelter, which will include new amenities and larger kennels for the shelter that sees over 600 animals each week.
The shelter’s administrative building will be enlarged by nearly 10,000 square feet for a new clinic, a new entry with a lobby and retail space, employee offices, a small kitchen, restrooms, and multipurpose rooms, which could be used for dog training, according to city staff.
Additionally, the shelter’s kennels will be reduced in size but reconfigured to be larger, officials said.
Some residents and volunteers at the shelter spoke during public comment in support of the plans.
“Shelter staff and volunteers are looking forward with a great deal of excitement to the groundbreaking capital improvement project,” one shelter volunteer said.
The new clinic will also add rooms for exams, surgery, and post-op recovery and the existing area for cats and small animals will receive a patio as well as an isolation room for when they are sick, according to the city officials.
Irvine Animal Care Center in Irvine, Calif., in February 2023. (Google Maps/Screenshot via The Epoch Times)
Some residents submitted public comment, in advance of the meeting, thanking the council for the renovations.
“I have been [a shelter] volunteer for 15 years. It is an amazing place, but it is definitely time for some upgrades,” Lake Forest resident Cindy Melton wrote in an Aug. 4 email.
Another volunteer and Irvine resident applauded the plans for added classrooms, which he said will help staff and volunteers.
“The renovation of the kennels is badly needed, as is the addition of a proper indoor classroom space, out of the weather and away from the street noise, where staff and volunteers can come together for training, events, and to provide community education,” 43-year resident of Irvine, Dan Ferrari, wrote in an Aug. 6 email to the city.
The existing dog park on the shelter’s grounds will also be relocated to the Oak Creek Community Park, to make room for a larger parking lot.
The announcement of the funds comes after earlier discussions for such renovations in 2019—that never came to fruition—which at that time were estimated at $14 million.
The renovations should begin this fall, according to city staff, and be completed by 2026.