Fulton County’s animal shelter is 41 years old and desperately needs to be replaced, one architect studying the venue said.

“That facility is woefully inadequate,” Terrance Charles, an architect with PGAL, an Atlanta-based architectural firm, said of the shelter, located at 860 Marietta Blvd in northwest Atlanta.

PGAL and Animal Arts, a Boulder, Colorado-based architectural firm, are conducting a feasibility study on construction of a planned new shelter and its service provider, Avondale Estates-based LifeLine Animal Project.

Charles and others involved in the study spoke June 20 at the Wolf Creek Library in southwest Atlanta in the first of a series of community meetings on the study. According to a news release, future meetings will take place in the coming months in north and central Fulton, but no dates have been set yet.

Because of the county’s growth in the four decades since the shelter opened, a new one is needed. The $270,617 study was approved by the Fulton Board of Commissioners in May and is the first step in planning for a new animal services facility. According to the release, the study will provide insight on site selection, space requirements, improvements and operational needs.

“This feasibility study should help identify what this facility should be to not only remain adequate now but (also) in the future,” Charles said.

Another representative from PGAL at the meeting, Greg Mullin, said input from the community is an important part in the success of this or any facility.

“That is why we are here tonight, and we will be having other community meetings throughout the summer to gain their input,” he said.

Lara Hudson, LifeLine’s Fulton Animal Services director, said she was very excited about the study.

“I see this study as a great opportunity for Fulton County to lead the way with regard to the pets in our community,” she said. “If improving our animal shelter here in Fulton County and the Atlanta area doesn’t start here, it probably won’t happen in this state.”

Sarah Bowman, an animal care consultant, said these community meetings are a great way for residents and others interested in the welfare of animals “to have their voices heard.”

“Our definition of success is aligning ourselves with the community’s expectations,” she said.

Mullin said this study would not only go a long way in determining how large the new animal shelter facility would be but also the site of the facility within the county.

According to Hudson, this project is one that has bipartisan support, “and is something we can all get behind and support as well as being an issue we are all on board with.”

No timetable has been set on when the new shelter would be completed.

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