The new facility will be 3,000 square feet larger than the current one and have a surgical room on-site.
Islip Town officials broke ground, last Friday, on the new town-run animal shelter, located at 295 Carleton Avenue in Central Islip.
The town is set to build a new facility, over 17,700 square feet, on a two-acre property adjacent to the Department of Public Works facility. The new shelter will replace the existing facility in Bay Shore, which is over 55 years old.
During the ceremony last week, Islip Town supervisor Angie Carpenter noted that the new shelter will be approximately 3,000 square feet larger than the previous one. She also said it will be more centrally located and include more kennels—82 as opposed to the original 68.
“[The new facility] will be more adoption friendly,” Carpenter added. “It will be a more inviting environment when people come to give the pets their forever home.”
There will be more viewing rooms (four instead of two), along with a puppy and cat display in the lobby and a surgical room on-site. Teri Giacalone, the animal shelter supervisor, says the on-site surgical room should be less stressful for the animals being treated.
Giacalone also noted the new HVAC system will provide better ventilation for the animals and staff members.
Carpenter took a moment to applaud the shelter’s staff and volunteers for their efforts. “The employees at the animal shelter have admittedly been working under some adverse conditions,” she said. “But I can count on one hand and have fingers left over [for] how many complaints I’ve gotten from them.”
The town board unanimously voted in favor of a $4,600,000 bond for the animal shelter’s construction in September 2017.
New York State Sen. Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore) also helped secure two significant grants, through New York State, to assist the town in the shelter’s construction. The first grant was for $500,000, while the second was for a little over $498,000.
“This is a historic day,” Boyle said last week, noting that it has been over 50 years since Islip Town got a new animal shelter. “We were fortunate enough to play a small role on the state level, but it really takes courage and commitment to do something like this on a town level.”
Martin Bellew, the town’s commissioner for the Department of Environmental Control, thanked everyone involved in preparing the project. “We’re looking forward to the construction,” he said. “Hopefully in a year, we’ll have another ceremony [to celebrate the opening of the new facility].”
Bellew’s predecessor, John Heil, was also present, since the project began while he held the post.