New southern animal shelter opening soon
Published on 27 January 2023
A new purpose-built council dog shelter that will serve the district’s busy southern area is due to open in May near Kaikohe.
The $2.4 million facility will house up to 10 dogs within individual indoor kennels. It also features three quarantine kennels, a vet room, multiple exercise yards, secure dog drop-off areas, a food preparation room and offices for staff.
The new facility will complement the council’s Northern Animal Shelter in Kaitāia, which is currently used to secure all dogs impounded in the Far North. The Northern Animal Shelter – also a purpose-built facility – was opened in 2021 and has capacity to house 20 dogs individually.
Council Environmental Services Manager Rochelle Deane says the addition of a modern, purpose-built shelter in the southern part of the district will allow Animal Management Officers to work more effectively across the entire district and will reduce travel times for impounded dogs and owners wishing to reclaim their pets.
The new Southern Animal Shelter has been built on the former Melka Kennels site. This was purchased in 2020 with the intention of converting the commercial dog kennels for council use. However, a thorough assessment of the buildings found that the investment required to upgrade the existing kennels to meet national animal codes of welfare would be almost the same as building a completely new facility. A purpose-built animal shelter has the advantage of providing greater certainty over the facility’s lifespan and has lower on-going maintenance costs. As a result, the existing Melka Kennel buildings were sold and removed, and the site cleared. COVID-19 restrictions caused delays to this work, which was finally completed in June 2022. Construction on the new facility began the following month.
Design features include kennel sizes that exceed New Zealand codes of welfare minimums, and separate exercise areas to provide dogs more time outside their kennels. The facility includes impermeable concrete surfaces, solid separation barriers, and separated drainage, including in the exercise areas. This makes the facility easy to clean and will significantly reduce the spread of diseases, such as parvovirus. Completely enclosed on-site wastewater systems have also been designed to process high volumes of animal waste.
The entire 2900 square metre site is enclosed by a 1.8m-high, escape-proof boundary fence with automatic gates providing Animal Management Officers with secure access.
Image: Purpose-built kennels now under construction for the southern animal shelter will meet and exceed national animal codes of welfare.