Extreme Shelter Makeover

Transformed from dark dungeons to bright community gathering spots, today’s most innovative animal shelters give homeless dogs a better chance.

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“There’s a stereotype that shelters are dark, dirty, dingy places where animals wait in loneliness until they are euthanized,” says Scotlund Haisley, executive director of the Washington Animal Rescue League. “That’s what keeps people out of shelters. They walk in, and they want out.”

That’s not the case at Haisley’s shelter. The organization’s 27-year-old building — not far from the White House in Washington, D.C. — recently underwent a $4 million renovation that pleases people as much as it does pets.

“We thought that if we painstakingly designed a new concept in animal sheltering, considering even the smallest detail from the animals’ point of view,” explains Haisley, “we could build a facility that actually encourages recovery and adoption.”


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