The city of Rushville’s Animal Shelter is officially operating out of its new facility at 650 Vansickle Street as construction and finishing touches continue.

Director Kasey Hanna could not be any more excited.

“We are extremely thrilled to be in our new building, even if it’s not completely finished yet,” Hanna said. “Compared to where we were to where we are at this moment is a massive improvement.”

The new facility is designed with the animals sheltered there in mind. A meet and greet room, for potential pet owners to spend time getting acquainted before taking a pet home, is now available. There are now free roam rooms for adult cats and kittens, which allows them space to spread out and play. The facility has a holding area for animals that have just been brought in, an exam room, a storage room, and 32 indoor/outdoor kennels and exercise areas.

“The free roam cat rooms are probably our favorite part of the building so far,” Hanna said. “Cats are difficult creatures to keep from becoming stressed, and when they are stressed, they tend to be more susceptible to illness. Having a couple of rooms set up like a home not only gives cats more space to be themselves and less stressed, but also allow visitors to interact with them and see their personalities properly.”

Hannah generally said the animal shelter houses around 40 animals, but of those 40, most available for adoption are usually felines. Typically, the shelter has five dogs or fewer at a time, according to Hanna. Animals brought in are vaccinated and receive flea treatment before being adopted out.
Adult cat adoption fees are currently waived and will be more than likely through the summer as the animal shelter battles “kitten season.” Kittens (who are coming in regularly) are $40. The shelter is currently running a special where you can receive two kittens for the price of one.

“We always say just adopt two, because two are twice the fun,” said Hannah.

Dogs available for adoption are $75.

As the staff continues the transition to a new building, they are also working to establish protocols to adopt animals while dealing with COVID-19 safely. Currently, they ask the public to call ahead and make an appointment to see an animal. However, the facility is almost ready to welcome back volunteers. Volunteers walk dogs, clean, do dishes, and socialize and play with the animals.

“We haven’t brought volunteers back in yet, but hope to in the near feature,” Hannah explained. “We think volunteers will enjoy being able to interact more naturally with our cats and dogs with the features we implemented or plan to. The free roam rooms allow volunteers to play and cuddle cats. The visiting room allows volunteers to take cats staying in kennels to the room to give them one-on-one time. Our large outdoor play yard allows volunteers to throw a ball for a dog, and our planned indoor playroom for dogs allows volunteers to interact with dogs all year round.”

As construction continues and each day brings the animal shelter a step closer to completion, Hanna has been able to identify a couple of needs for anyone who wants to donate an item instead of time. Items needed include new cat trees and cat carriers for the facility.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have any set completion date yet,” said Hannah. “We take it one day at a time and celebrate even the small projects completed as it has us one step closer to a finished new shelter.”