A Staten Island animal shelter by Garrison Architects is designed for the comfort of cats, dogs, and the people who care for them

Picture an animal shelter. Anxious and scared dogs and cats are confined in rows of small cages, prison-style. Even the visitor area feels carceral, with workers stationed behind Plexiglas while families meet potential adoptees in bare concrete enclosures. It’s a grim but all too typical arrangement for animals, visitors, and shelter employees alike.

Many shelters were built decades before groups like the Association of Shelter Veterinarians issued guidelines that emphasize health and comfort. A new facility for dogs and cats on Staten Island by Garrison Architects takes these improvements a step further, combining contemporary shelter construction principles with mindful design.

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