Written by Anisa Jibrell for Crain’s Detroit Business.

The Michigan Animal Rescue League plans to tear down its more than 65-year-old shelter in Pontiac to make room for a $6 million, 15,000-square-foot facility.

The new shelter will be three times the size of its current 5,000-square-foot facility at 790 Featherstone St., which is scheduled to be demolished starting next week, according to Executive Director Magee Humes. The facility, which calls itself “a different breed of shelter,” is expected to open at the end of 2020, she said.

For the time being, the animal shelter, which accepts cats and dogs, is leasing three spaces in a strip mall at 1624 N. Perry St. in Pontiac, Humes said.

The new shelter is being designed by Ann Arbor-based Ply Architecture & Design and built by Rochester-based Frank Rewold and Son Inc., Humes said.

The new facility will feature 24-hour indoor-outdoor access for dogs, activity rooms for training, along with dog “neighborhoods” where each dog will have their own section, according to the organization.

“Every square inch has been laser-focused on what best for the animals as they wait for their forever home,” Humes said.

The new shelter is being funded by private donations, but MARL is still in the process of raising an additional $6 million to complete the second phase of its fundraising campaign to make improvements to its medical, behavioral and training services as part of an effort to provide more effective and efficient care. The goal is to add in-house medical care to eliminate stress on the animals spurred by off-site veterinarian visits, and hire a full-time trainer to enhance the shelter’s behavior and training program, according to Humes.

The shelter has 20 employees and more than 100 active volunteers. With the additional space, Humes anticipates hiring an additional three or four employees to start.

Last year, the shelter provided life-saving care to 1,500 animals, Humes said. It hopes to double that number when the new facility is up and running.

Click here to read the original article.