We look at the plans for the new Humane Educational Society animal shelter


CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – After years of struggling to provide animal services to Hamilton county from a 100 year old building, the Humane Educational Society is well underway with its campaign to build a new shelter.

Following up on a story we told you about yesterday, the Hamilton county commission, which has pledged 10-million dollars toward the project, got its first look at the drawings.

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News 12’s Ashley Henderson has our update.

Work is set to begin in the next few weeks on a long-overdue new Humane Educational Society shelter to be build on eight acres near Bonnie Oaks Drive.

Architect Bob Franklin made the presentation….telling commissioners it would be a state of the art facility to handle 138 dogs and 166 cats.

“this whole area in the back is basically where all the dogs housing is.”

Although the commission approved 10 million dollars…to be added to a community fund-raising effort…the actual final cost could be as much as 13-million. The presentation was well-received by most commissioners.

But, Commissioner Tim Boyd says the cost per square foot is more than it costs to build a school.

Commissioner David Sharpe said “I’m eager to learn more about this is certainly a facility that we’ve needed for quite some time…I do appreciate that the price tag is a bit shocking for many…but, you know that maybe we can work on some of that as well.”

The current shelter is in a 115 year old building on north Highland Park avenue and is barely serviceable ..although it is now caring for 325 animals.

Architect Franklin says one reason for the high cost of the new state-of-the art building is sanitary issues.

“every dog kennel is essentially a bathroom. It’s a 138 bathrooms…you have that much animal waste..all the time.”

Mayor Jim Coppinger pointed out that there were a number of anonymous donor supporters helping move that project along.

“our community should know how much you know philanthropy means to this county..and for people being willing to do that.”

The private supporters will need to come up with funding past the 10-million from the county.
The facility will have 31,550 square feet.

In Chattanooga, Ashley Henderson, News 12 Now.