Community

The Jeffersonville Animal Shelter reopened its doors Tuesday after months of extensive renovations.

The facility, which was previously named the JB Ogle Animal Shelter, had been closed to the public since the start of the pandemic — also when they began the work. Mayor Mike Moore said the city kickstarted the project to make the shelter “first class” about two years ago. 

“Unfortunately, it wasn’t built to commercial grade,” he said. “We looked at different options from tearing it down to a total renovation. We chose the total renovation, which basically took it down almost to the studs.”

The shelter is currently appointment-only due to COVID-19.

Director Sarah Green has worked at the shelter, located at 201 Willinger Lane, since 2011. Green said the updates will improve quality of life for the thousands of dogs and cats that enter the shelter every year.

The new facility has an improved air circulation system, larger kennels and noise dampeners that will create a calmer environment for animals.

“We don’t want them to be stressed while they’re here,” she said. “We don’t want them to appear stressed to people coming in, because they tend to pass over those animals, when we know they’re really great animals.”

Green said the improvements will also make the building more sanitary and easier to clean. Better air circulation will lead to healthier animals by reducing the spread of germs.

By making operations in the building more efficient, Green said employees will have more time to spend with the animals.

“All of those things are going to make adoptions happen faster,” she said. “That’s the biggest deal. We want the shortest length of stay possible. This is supposed to be a midpoint for them in their lives, and we want them to get their forever homes.”

The shelter houses up to 200 animals at a time. Moore adopted his dog, Puddin, from the shelter about seven years ago. He commended Green’s leadership at the shelter and pushed for more people to adopt pets.

“For anybody that’s looking for a friend, the Jeffersonville Animal Shelter is a great place to start,” Moore said. “It’s the home of second chances. There’s a whole lot of cats and dogs out there that just need a little love.”

For information about fostering and adoptions, contact the shelter or visit JeffersonvilleAnimalShelter.com.

John Boyle covers southern Indiana communities and health for WFPL News. He is a Report for America Corps member.