Learn More About Our Future Kennel!
For over a year, we have been working with the Town of Rochester Planning Board to receive approval for our property to be designated a sanctuary and for us to build a kennel facility. We are thrilled to announce that as of June 2020 we officially have their approval!
Why do we need a kennel?
We are very passionate about the work we do, but have been limited in our dog, cat, and small animal rescue efforts by the number of foster homes we have available. This kennel facility will not house many animals at one time (in comparison to most kennels in the area), but it will greatly increase our ability to help local animals in need. As it is now, we receive an average of 5 requests weekly to take in local dogs and cats from owners who can no longer care for them, showing that there is definitely a need in the local community for our kind of rescue. We are currently at capacity with our number of foster homes, and therefore are unable to help until one of our current animals is adopted, opening up that spot. This kennel will bring jobs to the area as well as activities for local volunteers to participate in and enjoy alongside our loving animals!
Dogs, cats and small animals we have saved since our founding.
The Design Plan
We are designing this kennel to be a visually beautiful building to match our barn that we love so much. The inside is going to be designed to set our animals up for success, creating as close to a home environment as possible in a kennel. The kennel will be able to accommodate 10-15 adult dogs, 10 cats, and 10 small animals at any given time, and we will be hiring three additional full-time staff members to care for these animals.
Drawings from our architects (Sasaki + Spade Architects) of the proposed building.
Animal Care in the Kennel
There will be ten indoor single-dog kennel suites, large enough for them to each have plenty of space to stretch out and relax, with doggie doors leading to concrete outdoor kennel runs. The dogs will be kept indoors overnight or in poor weather, but between 9:00 am - 4:00 pm they will be allowed to go between their indoor and outdoor runs as they please. This will help those dogs that arrive housebroken to retain that skill, and to have plenty of space for enrichment materials to make the kennel feel like home. In addition to the individual dog kennels, we will have a cohabitation room that will house up to five dogs. This will be more of a doggie daycare environment, allowing very social dogs to better retain their dog-sociability in the kennel environment. There will be a small yard coming off of this room so that these dogs can also decide whether they want to be indoor/outdoor during our work hours. We also plan to have a multipurpose room, which for now we are calling a puppy room, within the building where we can house the puppies or dogs who require more medical care or observation than the others.
We plan to have two other rooms to house animals, one dedicated to cats, and the other dedicated to small animals. The cat room will be set up as a home, cage-free environment where up to ten kittens and adult cats can patiently wait for their homes while looking out the window and relaxing in a comfortable space. Due to our partnership with the Animal Control Center of NYC through their New Hope program, we are often asked to care for and find homes for many small animals. We currently care for these animals in the barn office, but look forward to having a room within the kennel to better serve these animals. The small animal room will be able to house up to ten animals whether they are hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, ferrets, etc. and each animal will be housed in a cage habitat that suits its size and enrichment needs.
Interior drawing as well as examples of what we plan to use for kennel suites and examples of how we'd like to model our cohabitation room, cat room, small animal room, and front entrance.
Sound Control in the Kennel
Our board members have spent years working, volunteering, and visiting with other kennels. Based on that experience, we decided it was crucial we create a new environment, one that minimized stress and noise pollution and optimized enrichment and sanitation. This kennel has several plans in place to help lower the noise from kenneled dogs. The first is having an Enrichment Coordinator on staff, someone who is dedicated to keeping our dogs happy, exercised, and learning throughout their stay. A happy dog is a quiet dog generally, and enrichment programs that tackle all five senses of a dog can help alleviate a large amount of the anxiety that causes barking throughout the day. Scent therapy, for one, can be critical for promoting a relaxing kennel environment. Sound is also important, and playing relaxing music in the kennels can be helpful. The company we are planning to purchase the kennel suites from uses materials to partially sound proof them, which will help make the indoor kennel area quieter for all, dogs and humans alike. Our outdoor kennel runs will have double fencing, which will both eliminate the chance of a dog escaping from the kennel due to human error, and the double sided wooden fence will help to decrease the sound pollution leaving the kennel. We have done extensive noise studies and have determined that even with a full kennel of dogs all outdoors and barking at once, this sound would not increase the ambient noise at any edge of our property by a significant value (We are happy to provide these numbers to anyone who asks!). We spent significant time designing the kennels to be sensitive to noise creation, not only for our neighbors, but also for the mental health of our farm animal rescues. Horses, pigs, and goats do best in a quiet and calm environment and we are confident we can achieve the delicate balance between appropriate freedom for the kennel animals and the well being of our farm animals.
Proposed double sided wood fencing to help with deadening the sound from the
dogs in the outside kennel runs.
Sanitation in the Kennel
The kennel is being designed with sanitation as a huge priority as well. There will be a complex drainage system (in addition to a septic system) in place throughout the indoor kennel runs, outdoor kennel runs, and every animal room throughout the building. Each kennel and animal area will be thoroughly cleaned a minimum of one time a day (dog runs will be cleaned twice a day minimum with spot cleaning throughout the day) and we have a solid waste disposal plan in place.