New York City’s Department of Design and Construction (DDC) yesterday broke ground on a $92m project to build an abandoned animal care centre in the Baychester neighbourhood of the Bronx.
The 50,000-sq-ft complex, to be operated by Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC), will have space for 70 abandoned dogs, 140 cats, 30 rabbits, and 20 animals of other species when it opens in spring 2025.
Staff will care for the animals while ACC looks for new owners to adopt them.
New York saw a surge in pets being abandoned last year as rising inflation put pressure on household budgets.
ACC recorded a 25% increase in the number of pets left at its centres in the first half of 2022 over the same period in 2021.
That followed a boom in pet-buying during the opening stages of the covid pandemic in 2020.
New York City Council responded to a surge in abandoned guinea pigs last month by banning their sale at pet shops in a bid to get would-be owners to adopt abandoned ones instead.
The new centre will have covered exercise runs and yards in which people can meet dogs they might want to adopt.
It was designed by architects Marvel to achieve Leed Silver Certification for environmental sustainability.