A New Shelter. A Better Future for Oklahoma City Animals.

About PAWS in MAPS 4

PAWS  (Project Animal Welfare Shelter) in MAPS 4 is a group of passionate animal lovers and citizens united with the goal of building a new animal shelter for Oklahoma City.

About PAWS in MAPS 4
PAWS in MAPS 4 logo


We Believe

  • Overall quality of life and animal well-being are directly related to one another.
  • Great cities have a great infrastructure for animals.
  • A transformational animal shelter has a positive domino effect on attracting talented individuals and their families to the city.
  • Great cities create a strong sense of belonging for residents and their animals.
  • Everyone is welcome in this endeavor, to participate in the way that is best for them.


Need To Know

  • Shelters are uncommonly expensive buildings. Huge amounts of drainage, and air-handling systems. What are the two most-expensive rooms in a house? Kitchens and bathrooms. An animal shelter really is a series of rooms that serve as kitchens and bathrooms.
  • $500 to $600 per square foot is not uncommon.
  • Most common mistakes in design of shelters is lack of adequate storage space and lack of office space.
  • Recommend that a local architect be the architect of record, with an architect who specializes in shelters as a design consultant.
  • Dog and cat spaces should be separated by needs for isolation, quarantine and public-access adoption areas.
  • Sound containment / sound deadening must be a priority for dog areas.
  • Flooring must be non-permeable and drains in all animal-care areas. Monolithic epoxy-resin poured floors or other similar non-permeable industrial-grade flooring for much of the shelter. High-quality vinyl flooring, acrylics, and other flooring also possible.
  • Extensive air handling systems must be a priority in order to keep animal population healthy. Consider the use of HEPA filters, electrostatic filters, charcoal filters and UV filters where appropriate.
  • Location, landscaping, and welcoming nature of the building will determine adoption rates and the likelihood of volunteers to help with routine duties.
  • The more the building is inviting and welcoming to the public, the greater the chances are of high adoption rates and tax-payer satisfaction.
  • Consider one public entrance for those turning in animals and another nearby entrance for those visiting the shelter without an animal. Keep animal-surrender area separate from general visitation area.
  • Two-story shelters are fine, but keep animals on entry-level floor with admin on second floor.
  • There will be strong need for outdoor fencing to contain escaped animals, to provide outdoor play areas, to allow visitors to meet animals outdoors, etc. Six to eight-foot fencing.

Watch the 2019 PAWS for MAPS 4 Public Education Video that helped get this initiative passed.

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