Mayor Murray, Councilmember Godden “Cut the Leash” on Seattle Animal Shelter’s Dog Kennel Renovation

Mayor Ed Murray and Councilmember Jean Godden joined Seattle Animal Shelter staff, volunteers and donors today to “cut the leash” on a major renovation of the shelter’s dog kennel area, which will offer a less-stressful environment for lost, abandoned and abused dogs. The nonprofit Seattle Animal Shelter Foundation and private donors to the Shelter generously provided the majority of project funding.

“The welfare of the animals in the care of the city is a priority,” said Murray. “This state-of-the art update to the canine suites will improve the care of these dogs, especially those which are victims of cruelty. The new kennels offer a quieter, safer environment which will put them on the path to finding a loving home.”

The Seattle Animal Shelter Foundation (SASF) contributed $80,000 to the $160,000 capital improvement project. Other funding sources include $68,000 from the shelter’s Help the Animals Fund and $12,000 in city facility maintenance funding.

“This project is an excellent example of what we can accomplish through public-private partnerships,” said Godden. “Seattle is fortunate to have so many generous animal lovers who care enough to donate their time or money, or both, to ensure the orphaned animals in this city are treated humanely. I extend my thanks to the many volunteers and donors who support the life-saving work of our city’s shelter.”

The construction project involved replacing the outdated chain link fencing of the kennels with modern glass enclosures, resurfacing the floors and upgrading the troughs (see before photos below). Managed by the City of Seattle’s Department of Finance Administrative Services, SHKS Architects designed the project and Newton Building and Development, LLC, removed the old fencing and installed the new enclosures. The floors were resurfaced by Armorclad Floors. Finally, the noise baffles were replaced with new material – valued at approximately $20,000 – all generously donated by local acoustics firm, Forrest Sound Products.

“These state-of-the-art enclosures include visual barriers that will greatly reduce the noise in the kennel area, and more importantly, the stress dogs can experience when they can see other animals through the chain link,” says Shelter Director Don Jordan. “I cannot thank the foundation and its supporters enough for their compassion and their contributions.”

In addition to foundation donors, the shelter’s foster families played an important role in the success of this project. During construction, space at the shelter became very tight, as the dogs were relocated out of the kennel area and into the spaces normally occupied by cats, rabbits, rodents and reptiles. The shelter put out a call for foster parents to help alleviate the overcrowding during the project. In all, 187 families stepped up to welcome animals into their homes temporarily.

Foster parents are a critical part of the program at the shelter, as it relies on volunteers to provide temporary foster care in their homes to rehabilitate and nurture sick, injured and immature animals or to just give adoptable animals a break from the shelter environment. The foster care program is quite simple: you provide food and a temporary home; the Seattle Animal Shelter will provide any necessary veterinary care, training support and adoption marketing.

Interested in welcoming a dog, cat or critter into your home? The Seattle Animal Shelter is open Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. for adoptions and licensing. It is located at 2061 15th Ave. W. The phone number is 206-386-7387 (PETS). Animals available for adoption can be viewed online at

After photos:

Before photos: