A spokeswoman for a nonprofit group planning to build a dog adoption center in Conoy Township said the group will work diligently to be a good neighbor and to minimize the noise of barking dogs. Also, it will focus on finding homes for local dogs, she said.
Nell McCormack Abom, spokeswoman for Almost Home Dog Adoption, told the Advocate on Thursday, Nov. 30, that a maximum of 56 dogs will be housed there, not 66 as stated in an article that the Advocate published. The Advocate had repeatedly reached out to people from Almost Home but representatives of the group did not respond to requests for information until the article was published.
McCormack Abom said the first phase of construction, planned to open in 2018, will allow 34 dogs to be housed there. She emphasized that this will not be a typical noisy kennel.
“It’s a whole different approach,” McCormack Abom said, noting that the adoption center will have soft lighting and walls that minimize noise rather than chain-link fences.
“You say ‘dog kennel,’ people have a certain image in their mind,” McCormack Abom said, but Almost Home’s plan is more of a spa environment.
“Anxious dogs bark,” McCormack Abom said. “Dogs that are happy don’t bark excessively.”
And McCormack Abom said what barking does happen will be muffled by the architecture to avoid disturbing neighbors. The fronts of the animal enclosures will be covered in glass and there will be block walling between the dogs and on the way to the outside dog-run areas. The play area will be in back of the building and dogs will not be allowed outside without handlers.
“Any time the dogs go outside, they will be supervised,” McCormack Abom said.
All the dogs will be spayed or neutered and will have microchips to identify them; they will also be up to date on vaccinations, McCormack Abom said.
The adoption center will have a focus on local dogs and will encourage people in the neighborhood to adopt dogs there, she said, noting that one of the neighbors interviewed by the Advocate for the earlier article had said he loves dogs and plans to adopt a dog soon.
“We’d love it if he came and found his dream dog at Almost Home Dog Adoption Center,” McCormack Abom said.
Almost Home plans to build its center on a 17-acre plot, not putting anything on an adjoining 22.16-acre plot of land shown in real estate records, McCormack Abom said.
The adoption center should not attract large crowds except for two major fundraising events each year, McCormack Abom said. The rest of the time, it will have six full-time and 13 part-time employees when the first phase is complete; once the third phase is done, it should have 10 full-time employees and 22 part-time employees.
“Their parking is not visible from the road; it’s around the side of the building,” McCormack Abom said.
There will be parking in front of the building for visitors, but it will be obscured by shrubbery, she said.
McCormack Abom emphasized that the shelter will accept dogs from the Bainbridge area, contrary to word going around that the dogs would come from outside the area.
“Any dogs that need a home, we are going to be accepting them,” McCormack Abom said.