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SPCA of Texas Opens New Shelter
Expanded capacity, green features

Dallas animal shelters are going green. In 2007, the municipal Dallas Animal Services opened an eco-friendly shelter, and this month, the SPCA of Texas cut the ribbon on the Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center. The formerly vacant warehouse has been transformed into a 72,000-square-foot full-service shelter, which includes an adoption area, spay/neuter clinic, veterinary care for sick and injured pets, and a humane education outreach center.

The West Dallas facility doubles the SPCA’s capacity. “There’s a great deal of energy and excitement created by our expanded facility,” SPCA of Texas president James Bias says. “We’ll also be able to match more animals with North Texas families who seek to adopt pets.” Extra capacity is important in the sprawling Southwestern city where the SPCA takes in not only cats and dogs but cows, donkeys, horses, goats and other farm animals from the surrounding suburbs.

The new shelter isn’t LEED certified but has many eco-friendly features, according to Peyton Boddie, project manager of Hill & Wilkinson, general contractors. An energy recovery system cleans the air, cutting down on the spread of common airborne shelter diseases such as kennel cough. High-power hoses use less water when cleaning. Sensor-operated lighting and low-flush toilets reduce utility bills. Nontoxic paints were used. Shelter design makes maximum use of natural sunlight. A central recycling area collects cans, bottles, cardboard and newspapers.

Founded in 1938, the SPCA places about 9,000 animals every year. It operates two full-service shelters, two spay/neuter clinics and one satellite adoption center. Pets are also available at local Petsmart adoption centers.

For more information about the shelter, visit www.spca.org.

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Debra J. White is an award winning freelance writer in Tempe. She serves on the board of the Phoenix Animal Care Coalition, volunteers with the Arizona Animal Welfare League and the Sierra Club and at Sky Harbor Airport. She lives with two rescued dogs.

Photo by Susanne Demaree, shelter volunteer.

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