ST. GEORGE, Utah - The city of St. George is putting the finishing touches on improvements to the city-owned animal shelter, and those improvements came in response to public outcry about and allegations of animal neglect.
“That shelter used to be a place of absolute horrors that I could not go in,” recalls Kris Neal, a founder of One More Chance Animal Rescue. “And today it is a place I love to go.”
Neal is one of the volunteers who called out the city for poor conditions. Those conditions included cramped quarters, no beds and abusive practices. At the time, city officials quickly responded, changing management and implementing massive renovations.
“It really did turn out for the better, “ said Sgt. Iver Fuller, who is the current animal shelter director. “Sometimes it takes something to start a process, but it really has been big improvements, big positive improvements.”
Among the most noticeable changes are designated outdoor space for the dogs and cats. Pets are now able to get out and get exercise. The city also added a washing station and exam room, improved kennel space and an open cat room.
“We’ve had a lot of positive reactions from people about the appearance of the facility, how it feels,” Fuller said.
While a lot of the changes up here at the animal shelter were born out of controversy, directors said those improvements have had a significant impact, not only on the public’s perception of the animal shelter, but on adoptions.
“We’ve seen increased adoptions over the last few months even,” Fuller said. “With just the improvements alone.”
The city is showing off the renovated shelter with a grand re-opening this Saturday, June 21. There will be tours of the new facility and staff on hand to answer questions. Adoption fees will also be discounted.