Franklin County Animal Shelter

A rendering of the new home of the Franklin County Animal Shelter currently under construction in Rocky Mount. It will replace the current facility constructed in 1973.

Construction began earlier this month on a new municipal animal shelter near downtown Rocky Mount.

“It’s finally on its way,” said Cindy Brooks, manager of the Franklin County Municipal Animal Shelter.

The animal shelter will be at 81 State St., Rocky Mount near the Ply Gem Industries plant. The site will be more centralized compared to the shelter’s current location along U.S. 220 near the county landfill, Brooks said.

The current shelter, built in 1973, is 1,900 square feet with a leaking roof, peeling paint on the floors and rusting gates and doors, Brooks said.

The maximum capacity for the shelter currently is 18 dogs and 18 cats, Brooks said, and at times animals are having to share pens.

The shelter relies on other adoption organizations such as the Franklin County Humane Society to help take in animals when the facility is full.

“They are my saving grace,” Brooks said.

The new shelter will be 6,000 square feet — more than three times the size of the current one. It will be able to hold 25 dogs and 35 cats.

Brooks said the new facility will have a better curb appeal than the current one with a meet and greet room for potential adopters.

Plus, the modern look and better location could also help improve adoptions. “I think it will be more convenient for everyone,” Brooks said.The final cost for the new shelter is just over $1.3 million, which will be funded by the county. Brooks said she expects the facility to be complete and open by the end of the year.