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  • Writer's pictureHannah Skidmore, MBA

How to Make an Animal Shelter Safe and Secure

Animal Safety is Critical at Animal Shelters


Animal security and safety are paramount in animal shelters and rescue facilities. Animals must be safe within the facility and safe from external forces. There are multiple ways to ensure animal safety. Four fundamental ways include layers of protection, surveillance, durable finishes, and outdoor fencing design. The DLI building experts commonly use these measures to design buildings with high animal security and safety levels.


Tip #1 Layers of Protection


The DLI experts advise at least two layers of security for every animal. There are a few ways animal shelters can provide this type of protection. For instance, have an animal

  • in an enclosure within a room with a door

  • on a leash in an area with an exterior door

  • outside within two layers of fencing

  • on a leash in an outdoor area with a fence

The idea is to create an animal safety failsafe in case an animal gets loose or staff wires get crossed. These layers of protection are a function of operational standards and building design.


Tip #2 Surveillance


Surveillance and facility-wide cameras are increasingly popular in the shelter environment to protect the public, staff, and animals. The need for transparency is growing. The DLI building experts recommend using cameras in strategic indoor and outdoor areas to increase animal and staff security and protection. Our building experts assist in the electrical design of these surveillance systems through our electrical engineering services.


Tip #3 Durable Finishes


Durable finishes are critical to animal safety. When our experts remediate or renovate animal shelters, they often see finishes (such as flooring, paint, and cabinetry) that cannot withstand the use requirements of an animal shelter. The same is often true with animal enclosures as well. There can be sharp edges and even holes that can injure an animal. The DLI building design process considers the use and durability of finishes during the interior planning phase for renovation projects as well as new construction. Our building experts have recommendations for finishes that will not break down or cause harm to animals.


Tip # 4 Outdoor Fencing Design


Outdoor space is essential for dogs in an animal shelter. With outdoor space, potential security and safety concerns arise. The DLI building experts recommend using two layers of eight-foot fencing in all locations to adequately secure play-yards or outdoor runs. Often this looks like a large fence surrounding the smaller yards or runs with a three-foot corridor space between the inner fences and perimeter fence. Our building experts also recommend using angled fence toppers for added animal security, a small staging area for each play yard to allow dog introductions through the fence, and a secondary gate for added animal security. One of our design services includes reviewing each particular outdoor area and a shelter’s specific needs to determine the best fencing layout for each situation.


Increase Security and Animal Safety at Your Animal Shelter


Let the DLI building experts help you determine the best ways to create (or increase) animal security and safety at your animal shelter or rescue facility. By partnering with the DLI building experts, you can focus on things like adoptions and overall animal health rather than worry about building safety and security. Schedule a free consultation to see how we can assist you with your project. Call us at 860-889-7078 or schedule a consultation online to discuss further.








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