The El Cajon Animal Shelter provides animal care services for El Cajon and La Mesa including pet adoption services, housing for dogs, cats, small mammals, and reptiles, veterinary services, grooming areas, play/interaction areas, exercise yards, retail, and administrative offices, with up to 7,000 square feet of entitled expansion to accommodate future programs. The 14,000-square-foot shelter has the capacity to house 218 animals. Kennels are expandable to allow dogs to move freely between interior and exterior environments, offer flexibility to accommodate population spikes, and provide ease of maintenance for cleaning staff.
The building interiors integrate Fear-Free design concepts to reduce stress and anxiety among the animals. The color palette utilizes sage greens, muted blues, and violets, promoting relaxation within the animal psyche. Floor finishes are matte versus glossy to give animals a sense of grounding as they circulate the space. Separate areas are designated for cats and dogs, appropriately sized for each species and organized to avoid face-to-face contact. Separate mechanical zones minimize odor and disease transfer. Cleanable, moisture-resistant acoustical ceiling tile and wall panels offset hard surfaces and absorb sound. Perimeter glazing and tubular daylighting devices promote circadian rhythms of the animals and staff.