130 lucky cats recently moved into a new eco-friendly home, complete with a fantasy forest, kitty condos, and gazebos with floor to ceiling windows that let in lots of natural light. These lucky cats are under the care of the Monmouth County SPCA (MCSPCA), which recently opened a brand new adoption center.
The MCSPCA in Eatontown, New Jersey, was founded in 1945 to care for the community’s homeless animal population. Their previous facility was built in the 1960s and it fit the stereotypical image of an older animal shelter — crowded and jail-like. The old facility was designed to house animals only temporarily, but in 1999, the MCSPCA made the decision to no longer euthanize adoptable animals. This resulted in the shelter being stretched beyond its limits, housing twice as many dogs and four times as many cats as it was originally built to hold.
The overcrowded shelter inspired the MCSPCA to create a new facility that provided a healthy, safe, comfortable, and green environment for its animal occupants. The planning process took four years, construction has been ongoing for a year and the MCSPCA expects to complete the final phase of construction in May or June of this year.
The new shelter’s eco-friendly features reduce electricity and water consumption and also create a healthier and less stressful atmosphere for the animals. Here are some of the great green ideas that the MCSPCA implemented in the construction of their new shelter:
WATER AND ELECTRICITY CONSUMPTION
- Interior lighting systems were programmed to use daylight, in lieu of electrical lighting, when available and adequate. Sensors throughout the building automatically turn off lights in unoccupied areas, further reducing electricity consumption.
- Installed a high efficiency boiler and hot water heater.
- Selected energy efficienct dishwashers and laundry equipment to reduce water and power consumption.
- Changed cleaning protocol from squirting kennels to using a water-efficient cleaning system that will significantly reduce water usage.
A HEALTHIER ENVIRONMENT FOR ALL
- The MCSPCA have chosen to use The World’s Best Cat Litter, which is an eco-friendly litter made from corn that is also dust-free. This prevents the ventilation system from becoming clogged with dust, which would normally occur with clay litter.
- All exterior lighting addresses concerns regarding “dark sky” and glare.
- Special insulation in the ceiling reduces noise levels to help minimize stress for the animal and human occupants.
- The landscaping includes hundreds of new shrubs and trees that improve outdoor air quality and provide shade to the building to reduce energy consumption.
- The HVAC is an automatically-controlled, full energy recover-designed system for climate, odor and disease control.
- The MCSPCA built a filtration basin on-site which collects stormwater, filters it naturally and allows it to return to the aquifer, eliminating the need for drainage pipes and concrete basins.
MORE ABOUT THE MCSPCA
In addition to housing and adopting out animals, the Monmouth County SPCA provides numerous other services to the local community. These include animal cruelty investigation, providing low cost spaying and neutering, dog obedience training, community education, disaster planning and services, animal legislation and advocacy, wildlife transport and much more.
Whew! That’s a tall order for an organization that receives little or no federal, state or local funding, but instead relies entirely on private donations and modest fees for service. The MCSPCA also operates independently and is not affiliated with, and receives no funding from, any other animal welfare organization, including the Humane Society of the United States, the ASPCA, the New Jersey SPCA or the Associated Humane Societies, Inc.
PLEASE HELP THE MCSPCA HELP MORE ANIMALS
In 2008, the MCSPCA helped almost 4,000 animals, including 1,877 cats, through their animal care center. They also performed over 5,000 low cost spay/neuter surgeries to help reduce animal overpopulation. Times are tough for everyone these days, but this is when charities need your help the most. If you can spare even a modest donation, it’ll go a long way to helping a needy animal.
- $5 will feed a needy cat for one week.
- $10 will feed a needy dog for one week.
- $25 will provide a medically needy pet with a special weekly diet.
To make a donation to the Monmouth County SPCA, please visit their website at: