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Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter


Town of Branford


Branford, CT


6,350 SF


Lobby, visitor check-in area, community room, cattery, quarantine room, examination rooms, staff breakout room, administrative offices, and landscaping


Dennis M. Carbo



The mission of the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter is to provide outstanding comprehensive animal care, to rescue and rehome abandoned animals, and to promote responsible pet guardianship through educational and outreach programs directed to the communities it serves: Branford, North Branford, and Northford.

The overwhelming success of this premier municipal program, and growing demand for the services the no-kill shelter provides, led to the necessity of a full gut renovation and expansion of the facility to 6,350 SF – more than twice its original size.

Completed in May 2023, the project’s goals were to improve efficiencies and create a state-of-the-art shelter system. The latest technologies were utilized to address noise reduction; lighting needs; plumbing requirements; security and safety concerns; and the prevention of microbial growth and contamination.

The master plan for the facility included a new lobby and visitor check-in area, community/training room, pet-adoption visiting rooms, upgraded kennels, cattery, quarantine/isolation rooms, examination rooms, staff breakout room, and administrative offices. Interior finishes include resilient flooring, maple workstations and millwork, solid surface countertops, and custom eco-resin panels.  

The building’s exterior received a new treatment of wood and metal cladding, a new standing seam metal roof with skylights, and an illuminated timber-framed entrance vestibule. Additional site work improved circulation and accommodated new and additional parking. Plans to further enhance the property include pet walking trails, dog runs, relief areas, and a multi-animal barn.

In addition to addressing the need for expansion, the client team prioritized sustainability and the opportunity for the new building to set an example of green design for the community. Solar roof panels, high-efficiency mechanicals, HVAC, building envelope systems, high R-value glazing, and motion-sensing LED lighting are among the numerous features working in concert to achieve the shelter’s net-zero goal for energy consumption and production. It is the first municipal net-zero animal shelter in the country.

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