While the new 33,000 square foot Animal Resource Center, which opened on November 2 at 980 Guilford College Road, is impressive, for Jorge Ortega the building is not about appearance but functionality. For this, Ortega, director of Guilford County Animal Services, gives it five stars.
The emphasis is on the well-being – mental and physical – of the animals, as well as that of staff, volunteers and guests.
“The facility (which replaces the decades-old county animal shelter at 4625 W. Wendover Ave.) brought people together under one roof,” Ortega said. “It improves animal care and housing, provides lots of natural light and reduces the spread of disease. ”
The design was the result of a concerted effort by consultants and staff visits to other facilities to get a feel for what works best.
The new shelter includes a sterilization and sterilization room, surgery preparation areas and an intensive care unit for animals.
There are separate dog and cat wings with workstations throughout the building for easy cleaning and animal care.
Indoor / outdoor kennels allow dogs to go outside in closed and fenced areas which was not available in the old facility. Dogs can stretch their legs and socialize with other dogs in play groups.
“They have the option to go out for some fresh air and come back to a temperature-controlled atmosphere,” Ortega said. “It makes the animals happier and healthier and reduces stress.
“The kennels, which are twice the size, also eliminate dogs directly in front of each other, so there is less barking. Dogs can relax, take a nap, or go outside at will. There are also outdoor spaces for cats.
Those looking to adopt animals may see dogs, cats, or other small animals like hamsters or birds through window glass. They will be able to interact with a selected animal in a yard covered with artificial turf or, in bad weather, use an indoor familiarization room.
Adoptions are available by appointment on weekends from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. and by walking Wednesday to Friday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Those wishing to adopt must register and wait to be escorted to view the animals.
Stray animals not claimed within three days are not automatically euthanized. But neither is the facility intended to be filled. Rather, the goal is to find homes for animals when possible.
“We want to be a resource, not a final destination for the animals,” Ortega said. “We would like to keep the animals out of the shelter, but we will always have them here. This is our job.
He noted that the center’s priority is to ensure public health and safety. But pet adoptions play a big part in Animal Resource Center programs, as well as pet education and help keep owners and pets together.
“We partner with other organizations to offer programs on pet care and how to deal with animals. Covid has made it more difficult to achieve, but we hope to do it again soon. “
The Animal Resource Center has a remote adoption center in a pop-up store at the Friendly Center in Greensboro. He partnered with All Pets Considered to sell merchandise there and make a profit from the sales.
The opportunities for volunteering and encouragement add to the success of the resource center / shelter.
“We don’t want animals here without interaction,” Ortega said. “Placement helps animals that are too young, sick or have behavioral problems that prevent them from adapting to a shelter situation. The placement can last from a few days to several months.
An Intake Coordinator has a pool of volunteers from whom to recruit help for current needs. Many resources are provided to them to help them within the framework of the foster care program.
“We are always looking for volunteers for different activities, from walks with the animals to providing other enrichments,” said Ortega.
“We ask people for their time, their talent and their treasure,” he added with a smile. “We couldn’t do what we do without our volunteers. “
For more information, visit the Guilford County Animal Resource Center online and click on Guilford County Animal Services.
Items needed at the shelter
Individuals or groups often collect much-needed items to help with the care of animals housed at the Guilford County Animal Resource Center. Items currently required include:
• Dog Treats – Sweet, fragrant treats that are ideal for training and enrichment.
• New or lightly worn blankets or large towels.
• Unopened and unexpired dry or canned dog food.
• Unopened and unexpired cat and dog treats.
• New or slightly used harnesses, preferably for large dogs.
How to make a donation
You can drop off donation items at any time at the donation drop box in front of the Adoption Center at 980 Guilford College Road Greensboro, NC 27409.
If you have a large donation, a group donation, or would like to organize a fundraising campaign to benefit the shelter, contact [email protected]
Visit the Guilford County Animal Resource Center website and click on Guilford County Animal Services for other ways to donate and for a list of items the shelter is unable to accept.