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"SOS animals" blogs

Building a new shelter: important decisions

More and more people are interested in “SOS animals” new shelter therefore we would like to share our vision and plans with you. Your financial support made this project possible and thus we feel obligated to inform you about the building process as much as possible. Some details may not be interested to some so the information is divided into two parts – general and specific.
During the past couple of weeks we have been working on putting together all the advice received from the State food and veterinary service specialists and our consulting veterinarian Jakovas Sengautas. We also applied recommendations provided by the USA specialists for our specific case as well as some project solutions suggested by engineering companies that will help us build the shelter.
Based on all collected information we have prepared the final shelter plan layout, decided which type of cages will be used for cats (picture below) and how ventilation and heating system will be installed. Now more details of the project:
1. The layout of the shelter’s lodging was based on much higher standards than those required in Lithuania. Our main concern was the protection of shelter animals against various contagious diseases. We also tried to create the least stressful conditions for the animals. Some other important aspects of our work were low building maintenance, ecology and volunteer convenience.

2. Cats will be kept in cages pictured below. Since it is very expensive to buy and ship already build cages from USA , we are looking for local furniture producing companies, that could build such cages for low price (work only, not the materials). If you work in this field or know somebody who could build similar cages inexpensively, please, contact Andrey by email mezencev (at) gmail.com or by phone +370 675 42646. We are only interested in offers accommodated to our shelter’s as a non-profit organization’s needs and our project. The decision will be made based on the lowest offered price.

3. Ventilation and heating system is the most expensive equipment in the building of the shelter. In the estimate below you can see exactly how much it will cost us (1 litas = 3,48 euros, so you will need to multiply to 3,48 all the numbers if you want to get the cost in euros). It is necessary to make this investment now because the remaking of it to fit a bigger shelter in the future would cost even more. The total amount is huge but it will provide fresh and clean air to cat cages, will prevent from bad smell and allow to heat the lodging economically during cold season. It is clear that we depend on your financial support to fully equip the shelter.

4. In order to prevent the shelter from various accidents and damages, there will be installed a complex system providing full control of the shelter in cases of plumbing, ventilation and heating system damage. It will also automatically control lighting and other important functions. After having this system installed, we will be certain that, if anything happens in the shelter, our animals will be safe - they will not freeze to death, nor suffocate or drown. Electric energy will be used economically allowing us to save money and environment.
Here is more information on our project details and choices, supported by arguments.
Based on the principles mentioned above, we decided that:
a) All cages (floor and side walls) will be made of thick plastic (resistant to physical and chemical impact) so that animals would not have any direct contact with each other and could not see each other (this helps animals feel safe and less stressed);
b) Front door of cat cages will be made of fiber glass, protecting them from kennel cough, rhinotracheitis and other infectious diseases;
c) Every cage will have a separate ventilation system to prevent from spreading of bad smell and provide fresh air for every cat. Every cage will have a separate litter box accessible through a hole.
d) Recovering cats will be kept in a separate room before they are placed in the room for adoptable cats.
e) Dog kennels will be situated in such way that dogs would not see each other. This will prevent them from stress and airborne diseases.
f) Sick and quarantined animals will have separate runs covered with special material. The runs will be disinfected after every dog.
g) In order to keep sick and quarantined animals safe and less stressed and also to prevent them from dangerous diseases, there will be certain rules for managing human traffic in the shelter. Visitors will be able to see adoptable dogs in their kennels. Other rooms will only be accessible to the shelter's volunteers.
h) According to the estimate of the ventilation and heating system almost one third of the price will cover a powerful plate recuperator (a special purpose counter-flow heat exchanger used to recover waste heat from exhaust gases), another third - remaining ventilation system equipment, and the last third - installation work.
It is important to have a durable and reliable equipment which not only helps maintain good health of animals but also saves money in the long run and is environmentally friendly. These are the reasons why we have chosen this quite expensive recuperator.
It's advantages:
1) It completely and safely separates exhaust gases from fresh air flow.
2) Recuperator can heat fresh outside air up to 55% by recovering waste heat from exhaust gases. The rest of the heat will be provided by electricity. So if air temperature outside is 0 C, incoming air will be automatically heated up to +10 C without the use of electricity!
3) Plate recuperator is cheaper than rotary recuperator.
It's disadvantages:
1) If air temperature is lower than -10 C, it will use quite a lot of electricity. However we think that it is still better than rotary recuperator which mixes exhaust gases with fresh incoming air. This way the air stays contaminated with bacteria and unpleasant smells.
There are many kinds of recuperators ranging by their power and of course price. We chose the recuperator that meets the requirements for air circulation in animal shelters in the USA (the air has to be completely exchanged 8 to 12 times per hour). We are grateful to Ms. Dovile who referred us to this information on the shelter forum. Our chosen recuperator will fully exchange inside air with outside air 13 times per hour and will be powerful enough to support air circulation in the expanded shelter in the future (which would be impossible had we chosen a less powerful recuperator - then we would have to buy another one and it would cost much more all together).

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