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North Shore Animal League hopes to build cat-centric adoption site

The North Shore Animal League plans to add

The North Shore Animal League plans to add a second story atop its facility at 25 Davis Ave. in Port Washington, Sunday, March 5, 2017. Credit: Jeff Bachner

North Hempstead officials have given the North Shore Animal League preliminary approval to build a cat-centric pet adoption center at its facility in Port Washington.

At the town board’s February meeting, league officials presented the construction plans for Bianca’s Furry Friends Center, or the BFF Center. League officials said they want to build a 14,380-square-foot second floor onto their facility at 25 Davis Ave..

Bob Kelterborn, the league’s facilities manager, told board members that the second floor will be a unique housing and adoption arena.

“We will have a features center for where we’ll show animals of the month and then we’ll have a nursery,” Kelterborn said. “It’ll be a cage-free environment . . . We found that cages are stressful to the animals.”

Town board members say the renderings for the addition looked stunning and they’re excited to see the final product.

The league did not receive full approval because the staff has to submit paperwork proving that they would abide by six special construction requests from the town, said Councilwoman Dina DeGiorgio.

For example, the building material for the second floor construction can only be staged on the league’s parking lot. If the league’s construction workers damage any trees during their work, the league has to pay for replacements. Construction workers can only build from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Also, when construction requires a crane, crews cannot redirect traffic along nearby South Bayles, Davis and Willowdale avenues.

League officials assured the town council that they would adhere to those conditions.

The league’s upcoming construction is at one building within its larger 3.8-acre lot. The league received town approval for a 2,750-square-foot expansion of its adoption center in 2014.

Kelterborn said league staff has always housed dogs and cats in that same building and on the same floor. He said the second floor addition would allow the staff to separate the animals.

Kelterborn said construction would take 12 months. During the work, league employees will be moved to a different facility to continue their animal care and pet adoption duties.

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