UPDATE 4-29-2021: Now that the new shelter is open, officials say they need volunteers for dog walking, cat socialization, photography of adoptable pets, play yard monitoring, and more. For more information, visit the website.
A state-of-the-art animal shelter that's been three years in the making has finally opened its doors in far north Fort Worth.
The city's new North Animal Campus, at 351 Hillshire Dr., is a modern, indoor-outdoor facility that sits on seven-and-a-half acres of natural landscape — complete with a pond, native prairieland, and outdoor walking trails — to maximize open spaces for human-animal interaction, city officials say.
“The new North Animal Campus has been intentionally situated on the North Texas prairie, where visitors will find outdoor trails, a natural pond, and lots of open spaces,” says Tim Morton, Fort Worth Animal Care & Control's Code Compliance Department assistant director, in a release. “All of this is by design. Throughout the conception and building process, we have paid close attention to ensure the comfort and wellbeing of the pets that are entrusted to our care here. You’ll also find the latest animal care technology that our talented and dedicated staff will employ every day.”
Highlights and structures of the campus include:
- five separated, naturally lit kennel pods, each with six separate play yards and four meet-and-greet yards. (The separation is for containment of disease and stress control, as well as reducing noise and reactive behaviors between dogs in separate pods or yards, the city says.)
- an adoption center with public meeting space and cat housing.
- a veterinary clinic with surgery and triage units.
- a sally port for animal arrivals.
- open work spaces for staff.
- inviting indoor kennels with attached ample outdoor spaces for dogs and other pets.
If the buildings look familiar, it's because they were inspired by the cattle barns at Will Rogers Memorial Center. Design firms PGAL and Animal Arts worked together to provide the city with a modern, safe, and efficient facility, they say.
Voters approved $13.7 million in the 2018 bond election to build the new shelter, and officials broke ground in January 2020. The existing shelter, in southeast Fort Worth, was constructed in 1998.
The new shelter is in far north Fort Worth (76052), one of the fastest-growing regions of the city; it is located across the street from the Hillshire Drop-Off Station.
"With all the rooftops and jobs being added north of 820, we really need a spacious and modern facility like this up here," Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said when the shelter broke ground. "And its design is ideal because the open concept puts less stress on the animals and helps staff control diseases in the pet population."
Residents can get their first look during a community open house, 12-6 pm April 24-25. Visitors will get tours of the campus, information about volunteering, and opportunities to meet adoptable animals. All adoption fees will be waived during the weekend event, and available animals will be spayed/neutered, microchipped, and up to date on vaccines and preventives, the city says.
“There are so many elected officials, city staff members, community volunteers, and nonprofit rescue group partners who have been actively involved in making this opening a reality," says Brandon Bennett, Code Compliance director, in the release. "We look forward to finding forever homes for every one of the pets that will be cared for at the North Animal Shelter.”