After years of discussion and more than six months of construction, Whanganui's new high-security dog pound is set to open next week, with animal control officers over the moon with the new facilities.
Ethan Griffiths and Bevan Conley went for a tour.
Construction started back in June, and next week animal control officers will finally begin transporting the animals to the new location.
The new pound has 47 separate kennels, a significant increase on the current pound's thirty-two.
Also new is a larger puppy kennel, where mothers and their pups can remain together. Each kennel has a water bowl, bed, and retractable roof for airflow and sunlight.
There is also a singular separated kennel with its own run, designed for dogs who have been in the pound longer than the rest, to give them a change of scenery and some extra freedom.
A large grass run has also been constructed, with plastic water pools and sand pits set to be erected to keep the animals occupied.
According to Whanganui District Council's administrative assistant for compliance, Mareva Crowley, staff were really excited to move into the new facility.
"We've got a new office space, a new kitchen and a new space to talk with dog owners," Crowley said.
"In our current building, we don't have office space, there's only one computer and there's a very small kitchen. This new building is much more fit for purpose."
As part of the new pound, there is also a new educational space, where animal control officers can hold seminars and educational sessions to help dog owners raise and look after their animals.
"We're putting together a workshop that we're hoping to start next year, where people will come in with their dogs, interact, and ask questions.
"We want this to be more than a pound. We want people to be able to come in and ask questions, and even make an appointment for someone to talk to about their animal."
The facility has two secure entrance gates with barbed wire-topped fences.
The new pound will operate under an appointment-only basis, with members of the public asked to make an appointment either online or over the phone. With the new system, the building has installed a camera-alert system, so staff can be outside with the dogs, but alerted when someone arrives.
"It really is a building completely fit for the work we do."
According to animal control officer Jason Shailer, the pound has anywhere up to 30 dogs at a time. Typically, dogs stay for a short period, until the owner can be located.
"It really depends on what's going on, and of course most of them get picked up pretty quickly," he said.
The pound also has an adoption programme for dogs that have been in the pound for longer than seven days. This year so far, there have been 80 dogs rehomed.
According to Shailer, it's believed there are upwards of 8000 dogs across the Whanganui District.