Animal management to move to temporary home

Amanda Dehoney of Greenfield-Hancock County Animal Management unlocks the door to the cat room at the shelter. She worries that uncertainties over funding will mean a cutback in services and staff later this year. (Tom Russo | Daily Reporter)

GREENFIELD — Greenfield-Hancock County Animal Management will move into a new space in the near future as it awaits construction of its new home.

Greenfield Mayor Chuck Fewell said the city has leased the building at 2195 W. U.S. 40 for up to 15 months. During that time, the city plans to finalize the design of and construct the new animal management building, which will be on land the city already owns on South Franklin Street.

“This is a temporary fix,” Fewell said.

Animal management’s current facility at 809 S. State St., will be demolished to accommodate the city’s new wastewater treatment plant.

The building was formerly the home of All Pet Health Care by Noah’s, which closed in January. The building is equipped for the needs of the department, officials said. The capacity for animals will be more limited than it is in the current facilities, but the department will still be able to accept animal surrenders and administer adoptions.

Amanda Dehoney, director of animal management, said she is looking forward to the move.

“It’ll all be in one building, so that’ll be a really good factor for us,” Dehoney said, referring to the makeshift space the city has used for years.

Dehoney said the department is still trying to work out the details of what its capacity will be in the temporary space, but she expects to be able to house about seven to eight dogs and approximately 20 cats at a time. To limit the number of animals, she said, the department is considering accepting animal surrenders only by appointment.

When the move occurs in January, Dehoney said, animal management will have to close for a few days to make the transition. The department will be responding to animal calls throughout that period, and residents can check the Greenfield-Hancock County Animal Management Facebook page for the most up-to-date information.

The planned new permanent space for animal management will be a 14,000-square-foot building, Fewell said, with many amenities the current location is missing. There will be a covered space where animal control officers can pull their vehicles in without having to expose animals, or themselves, to inclement weather. Cats will be housed in a separate space. Other features will include an adoption area where prospective owners can meet animals, a comfortable office, ample storage space, and a reception area.

Fewell said the space will be an improvement for both employees and animals.

“It’s going to be a much warmer, friendlier place for the animals,” he said.