Building Project - CCAW Animal Services Facility

Currently no facility exists in the Wayne County, Utah area to take in lost or abandoned pets. Color Country functions with an entirely volunteer staff and no permanent home; volunteers foster all the animals we rescue and rehome. At times, we feel just one phone call away from disaster. The lack of animal services has led to overpopulation, neglect, and abandonment of animals. Local communities and law enforcement have few options to address animal issues, but CCAW is working on a solution.

We are embarking on an exciting journey to improve the lives of thousands of animals in our rural, economically depressed but stunningly beautiful and tourist-driven corner of the Colorado Plateau. In 2016, Color Country purchased a gorgeous 12-acre plot of land on the west end of Torrey for our newest program to establish a no-kill shelter and adoption center for abandoned and abused cats and dogs. The building site is like no other in its location, suitability, and spectacular red rock views from every corner.

An exciting part of our building project is a practical nod to the challenge of funding a not-for-profit animal shelter plus a community need for pet boarding facilities. Tourism is this county’s mainstay, and tourists often travel with their pets. We have incorporated cat and dog boarding facilities into the building plans, including a dog spa, for visitors who explore Capitol Reef National Park a few miles down the road, or who attend a local concert, fair, parade, or workshop and who need a convenient, safe and fun respite for their traveling dogs and cats. The boarding income will help support the staff we must hire before the building opens. The purpose of combining an animal shelter with boarding facilities is to maximize resources by making the housing areas suitable for either shelter or boarded animals, depending on the need.

Color Country has hired architect Parallel Lines -- a small firm in Salt Lake City headed by Thomas Oakley Bath and Jen Dalley – for design work. Animal Arts in Boulder, Colorado served as a consultant in the early planning stages. Parallel Lines has designed the building to be easily expanded should demand exceed the space available. The firm specified standard construction methods and materials to keep costs low. CCAW has paid particular attention to the interior spaces and materials, aiming for a pleasant, calming atmosphere designed to reduce fear and anxiety among the dogs and cats housed there. Ventilation is state-of-the-art, with 100% exhaust in all dog and cat areas to keep them as healthy as possible.

The building design phase has been completed, resulting in a distinctive 3,000 square foot building with dog and cat rescue and care areas, plus related support spaces. The building will accommodate more than a dozen dogs with individual sleep areas, and access to indoor and outdoor play areas. Up to eight cats can be housed in their own private shelters inside two larger playrooms. In addition, the building will have a spacious, airy lounge area, a dog washing room available to the public, and exterior dog walking paths and play areas open to the public. The construction estimate for the building is around $750,000. Adding the land purchase, architect fees, consultants, furniture, and first year operating expenses, the total project will come to roughly $1 million. We have now raised more than 40% of the $1M goal.

In August 2018, we launched our capital campaign, seeking to jump to the next level of support before approaching foundations for grants. A few generous supporters of Color Country’s mission have offered an $70,000 challenge grant that effectively doubles any donations though the end of 2018. Once met, Color Country Animals will have raised half our budget, and we then can approach foundations for grants to get us to our goal. We're excited to bring this new facility and service to Torrey and the Wayne County area, and hope to see you in 18 to 24 months.

Color Country’s planned animal facility is designed with the “fear free” model of pet shelters, which aims to reduce the stress and fear animals feel when relocated to a shelter. Noise, color, light and textures will be chosen with the animals’ best interest in mind. Furniture will be low so as to put people and animals on the same level, and harsh lighting and colors will be muted. The fear free model has proven to acclimate pets more quickly to their surroundings, making them healthier and adoptable more quickly.