Marion County commission leads the way to new animal facility

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Animal Care Tech Wendy Crowley comforts a rescue dog at Animal Services’ current location at 5701 SE 66th Street in Ocala near the Baseline Transfer Station.

Marion County — The Marion County Board of County Commissioners held a capital improvement project workshop on March 21. During the workshop, the commission discussed many projects proposed by county departments, including Marion County Animal Services. Capital improvement projects are projects that include new construction, repair, or improvement of buildings or grounds.

Many operational needs were discussed for the Animal Services department including urgent needs such as equipment and updated kennels. Long-term needs were also mentioned including the need for facility upgrades at the department.

The commission discussed multiple options, ultimately deciding that a new facility would be more suitable to meet the current and future needs of the community. A new location for Animal Services would allow for the possibility of more green space areas for our shelter animals to enjoy while providing additional enrichment opportunities for our community animals. Green space enhances the quality of life for animals housed at the facility, making them more adoptable.

Two possible locations for the new facility included an area near Northeast 36th Avenue or a location near Coehadjoe Park. During the workshop, the commission directed staff to research the possibility of the two locations.

Findings will be presented to the county commission during an upcoming publicly noticed meeting.