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Bloomington Animal Shelter Breaks Ground On Expansion, Renovation

Bloomington Animal Shelter staff broke ground Tuesday on a $1.9 million expansion and renovation project.

A 2011 building analysis found renovations were needed to provide the animals with better care.

"A good shelter design should allow animals in their care to express as much normal behavior as possible," says Director of Animal Care and Control Virgil Sauder. "So instead of gloomy and often cramped quarters in our shelter, the new shelter will provide natural light, good ventilation and room for the animals to move."

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The expansion includes a new wing for intake to separate the holding areas for stray cats, which is currently located between two dog areas.

Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton says about 250,000 animals are estimated to have been cared for since the building was built in 1968. He says the building hasn't been renovated since 1977.

The renovation will also expand areas for the public, staff, and volunteers, allowing more people to visit with animals and provide opportunities for education and community outreach.

"The renovations will provide appropriate space for our volunteers and staff to bathe, socialize, train dogs, prepare food, treat illnesses without tripping over each other to do so or sacrificing one activity for another," Sauder says.

Mayor John Hamilton announced the project at his State of the City address earlier this year and the Bloomington Redevelopment Commission approved the plan in March.

The project is expected to be complete by January 2018.

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