The new Jacksonville Animal Shelter is almost ready to open -- the dog portion, at least.

City officials are awaiting the quarantine inspection, and once certification is approved, the shelter on Woodlawn Avenue will be opened to the public.

Detective Tonya Harris of the Jacksonville Police Department said the new shelter is expected to open this week.

Harris has been named the supervisor for the shelter. She will have two animal control officers to help oversee operations at the facility, she said.

"I'm just going to try to do the best job I can," Harris said. "I don't want to have to kill any animals. I want us to have good turnover (for adoptions)."

Standing outside the fence of the shelter Thursday, Harris paid close attention to the sounds of the barking dogs inside. She said the animals are fed each morning and evening, and city officials stop in throughout the day to check on everything.

The dog area has 10 cages and a quarantine area, as well as a multi-use room and outdoor kennels.

A building for housing cats sits nearby, but Harris said it will be about a month before it is operational. Harris also plans to have an office in front of the shelter.

Meanwhile, she is attempting to find the owners of a few dogs who have recently been picked up by animal control officers. Once the shelter opens, these dogs will be up for adoption, therefore if the owners are searching for them, they can pick them up first, she said.

Once operational, the shelter will be open for adoptions from 10 a.m to 3 p.m. Monday-Friday and after hours and on Saturday by appointment only, Harris said.

To adopt an animal, you will need a form of identification and a water bill to prove residency.

The animals will be microchipped, and Harris said fees have not been determined at this time.


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