The new Tri-Cities Animal Shelter will be constructed to accommodate the increasing need for shelter space as the community outgrows the former buildings.
PASCO, Wash. — It was a rainy morning when the ground broke in Pasco. An upgrade is coming for the Tri-Cities Animal Shelter (TCAS). The project has been more than a decade in the making.
The new shelter will be constructed to accommodate the increasing need for shelter space as the community outgrows the former buildings.
“Our current shelter is basically two buildings. One built in the 1950s. One built in the 1970s. The Tri-Cities have certainly grown significantly since then,” said Zach Ratkai, Pasco’s Administrative and Community Services Director.
Ratkai said that as the human population increases, the animal population follows that trend.
“We’re close to 300,000 people as a region. Being able to serve that need for the animal community is what’s really important,” said Ratkai.
The new facility isn’t going to be just big enough for the cities’ current need, but it also has room to grow.
“We’re kind of boxed in with the old facility,” explained Ratkai. “I kind of equate it to Lego blocks where you can just kind of add another brick on the facility.”
New amenities at the Tri-Cities Animal Shelter
There will be a separation between cats and dogs to alleviate some of the stress the animals get being at the shelter, meet and greet rooms, exam and isolation rooms for sick or injured animals, four separate fenced play areas outside of the building and many more improvements to the interior and exterior.
There is also going to be new parking that is ADA accessible, and improved access to 18th Ave.
“Plus, the new shelter is going to be more welcoming for people to walk through, and hopefully adopt the animals out, so they don’t stay with us too long,” said Ratkai.
Whether they were fluffy, furry, only there for treats or jumping for joy, everyone was ready to get this shelter going.
“We’re all standing in the rain here. It’s a cold morning,” Ratkai announced. “We need to break ground on the shelter.”
This is not just an upgrade for the people, but also the pets.
The new shelter manager comes on next week, according to Ratkai.
Construction should take about a year, finishing in 2023. It’s being built near the former location, at 1312 S. 18th Ave. in Pasco.
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