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San Francisco city leaders this week celebrated the opening of San Francisco Animal Care and Control’s new state-of-the-art facility, which replaces the agency’s former, much smaller shelter, just blocks away.

The new 65,000 square-foot, seismically safe facility at 1419 Bryant St. boasts a new veterinary suite, expanded play and training areas for animals, and improved ventilation, among other features.

The new space is the site of the former Market Street Railway Company powerhouse, first built in 1893. Although the building has been massively rehabilitated, the building’s original brick facade and industrial wood windows remain.

“Thanks to our long-term planning and capital investments, and the hard work and dedication of everyone involved in the project, we now have a modern, seismically safe, new animal shelter that allows us to ensure the animals in our care are housed in safe, sanitary, and humane conditions.” Mayor London Breed said in a statement.

(Video courtesy of San Francisco Public Works/YouTube)

“We’re absolutely thrilled to continue our life-saving work in a new, beautiful, and safe facility,” Animal Care and Control Executive Director Virginia Donohue said.

Construction on the new site began two years ago.

The entire project cost $76.4 million and was funded with the city’s Certificates of Participation proceeds, which is used to improve existing or build new facilities within the city.

Animal Care and Control is tasked with responding to animal-related emergencies and investigating claims of animal cruelty and neglect.

The agency takes in some 10,000 domestic and wild animals annually, including dogs, cats, squirrels, snakes, rabbits, raccoons, goats, pigs, and birds, among others. Through an adoption program, the agency helps pair dogs, cats and other small animals with loving San Franciscans looking for a companion.

Although COVID-19 has forced the agency to scale back public access to the facility, adoptions are being done virtually and in-person services involving lost and found animals are being done by appointment.