New Camco animal adoption center to have ‘retail feel’


In an effort to boost visibility of shelter animals, the Camden County Freeholder Board plans to open a “retail feel” adoption center in a central location off a major highways as part of a $3.5 million plan to reconfigure its shelter operations.

“The intent is to boost our adoptions,” said Dan Keashan, a county spokesman.

Keashan said the site has not yet been chosen, but should be within a month or so. He said the current Camden County Animal Shelter in Gloucester Township – where adoptions are now held - is off the beaten track for many and not in a central location.

The current shelter would remain and undergo a $2 million renovation and expansion.  The adoption center would be situated in a separate location.

“Ultimately, I would suspect, it (the new adoption center) would be on a well traveled roadway, such as Route 38, 70, or 130 that would make it highly visible.”

About $1.5 million is budgeted for the adoption center, which is expected to open by the end of 2014. It would have “glass-walled acquaintance rooms” instead of cages, as in a more traditional shelter setting.

The renovation and new adoption center are part of a plan by the county to overhaul the way it handles stray animals.

The Camden County Animal Alliance, a sort of shared services that networks animal shelters, has the goal of taking a humane regional approach that embraces the concept of trapping, neutering, an releasing feral cats to decrease the population.

Keashen said that the ultimate goal of reducing the population of strays is not only humane, but reduces costs to municipalities that have to house them.