The facility has separate entrances for intake and adoptions. New dogs are kept in one of eight intake kennels until they are determined to be healthy enough for adoption. The entrance to the adoption center was designed for accessibility, according to Joe Haynes. All 35 cat enclosures are in the lobby, as well as 24 enclosures for small dogs and puppies.
The previous shelter was able to house 17 cats and as many as 35 dogs. The new shelter has 45 large dog kennels for adoptable dogs, as well as the 24 enclosures for small dogs and puppies and the eight intake kennels.
Each kennel has its own air circulation system, and each is separated by high walls to prevent the spread of communicable diseases.
Every kennel also is connected to a line that allows feces and urine to be swept directly to it and flushed into the main sewer system -- something that Davis said will greatly improve the cleanliness of the shelter.
"We have a separate kennel for impounded animals, which are animals we might hold for an impending court case," Davis said. "Quarantined animals that are here because of a bite will be separated from the general population, as well."
Davis said the county's euthanasia rate is on the decline this year, and he hopes the additional space will allow the shelter to keep animals longer. The clinical space in the new shelter will allow a veterinarian to visit the shelter to perform regular spay and neuter surgeries.
Joe Haynes said the animal shelter is the animal-control authority for the county. He said he hopes the shelter can install an outdoor stable in the future so that livestock surrendered to the agency can be kept onsite. The county owns a large chunk of land surrounding the new shelter, and there is a walking trail for volunteers to walk the shelter's dogs.
"We can always use volunteers. Any shelter can use volunteers," Karen Haynes said. "There will always be a need for volunteers.
"Twenty years down the road," she said, "this shelter will still be here and it will still be functional, because we built it for the future."
Anyone interested in adopting a dog or cat from the Putnam County Animal Shelter can call 304-586-0249 or visit www.petfinder.com/shelters/WV96.html.
Reach Lydia Nuzum at lydia.nu...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5189.