TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- After three years of planning and construction, the future home for Helping Hands Humane Society's 300 animals is ready to go, and it's definitely a step-up from the old location on Rochester.
The main improvement for the new shelter is just the space alone.
"This is the second best home your pet will ever have and we're going to move them from here into your home knowing we've done a very good job taking care of them," Executive Director Bill Acree said. "And now we've provided them with the most comfortable and best environment we can provide them with."
Instead of 13,000 square feet, now they've got 52,000, with 20,000 of that used as a training room.
Instead of buying ice blocks to cool the kennels in the summer, they've got air conditioning.
Air borne illnesses will be elimiated through a new air system in which each room has its own filtered air, not shared between other rooms.
The dog kennels have a draining system installed to flush out any accidents, and the cats' litter boxes are hidden from sight so they have a little more privacy.
BIll Acree said all the new improvements are needed additions to the shelter.
The cost? $7.2 million, all in donations.
"Topeka responded to our plea to help us build this building financially," Acree said. "I think it speaks volumes to the fact that Topeka really cares a lot about their animals."
In addition to all the perks for the pets, staff and volunteers will have their own rooms too, which lets more people help out day-to-day.
Acree said the extra space will bring to life ideas for educating the community about pet adoption. He wants to hold seminars and education classes aimed for children, to teach them how to take care of a pet. This will all take place in the facility's education center.
The goal is to be a shelter that needs animals. Acree wants more healthy animals to be adopted so that they have a shortage, and can take in animals from other areas. In the past, Helping Hands has had to ship animals out to area shelters because they didn't have sufficient space.
"This is an incredible facility, and we want the community to be very proud of it," Acree said. "We are, and we are extending that invitation to all of them to come in and be equally as proud."
Saturday, January 5, all the animals will be moved to the new location. Helping Hands will re-open on Tuesday, January 8 at 11:30 a.m. with extended hours until 6 p.m.
They'll have a formal grand opening party once the weather gets a little warmer.