The site will be within Deer Lick Park at the existing dog park, said Douglas County spokesman Wes Tallon.
The site was chosen by Douglas County Chairman Tom Worthan and agreed upon by the commission after “an exhaustive search and evaluation of possible locations throughout the county,” Tallon said.
The 27-acre park off Fairburn Road includes a dog park, skateboard park, miniature golf course and batting cages at the front of the property.
“The shelter will be constructed behind and west of the current [park] facilities,” Tallon said.
Area residents and animal activists have called for a new shelter building for a number of years, citing everything from outmoded facilities to its somewhat remote location adjacent to the county landfill.
Tallon said Worthan selected the park site for a host of reasons, including its relatively central location as well as being only 1,500 feet from a major four-lane highway. A sign along the highway could easily guide potential shelter users to the site, he said.
“The site is also only 1,500 feet from an available sewer line,” Tallon said. “It is also a well-known park location as Deer Lick Park is the oldest and most active park in the Douglas County system.”
Selection of the park location allows the county to advertise for professional architectural services to plan and design the shelter, Tallon said.
The 2014 general fund budget adopted by the commission Dec. 17 includes $250,000 for those services.
Reaction has been swift and positive regarding the site.
Worthan said he appreciated opinions and discussions from Douglas County Animal Control Advisory Board members and the public on the issue.
He praised the advisory board for being out front on the site selection process.
District 3 County Commissioner Mike Mulcare said he was excited about the selection because it meets much of the criteria county officials established for a new shelter site.
“It is close to our population center and is easily accessible off Fairburn Road and will attract our citizens due to its accessibility,” he said.
Mulcare gave special praise to the Douglas County community which he said had been patient “and I support them in this effort.”
Diana Memmolo, president of the Douglas County Humane Society and founder of the animal control advisory board, said the selected site is a good fit as the available property offers the county flexibility as to what it can do with, and for, the animals.
“We could even have a remote adoption program right there on the property,” she said.
Memmolo said the current animal shelter site has been obsolete since 1997 and is handicapped because it has no sewage availability.
She also praised Worthan for helping spearhead the need for a new shelter.
“Tom has been involved with this effort since he was a district commissioner on the board,” Memmolo said. “He is again moving forward on this issue even now, more than a decade later.”