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Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter


Towns of Branford and North 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

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 renovating and expanding the facility to 6,350 SF – more than twice its current size.


The project involves extensive demolition and a full gut renovation of the existing structure to improve efficiencies and create a state-of-the-art shelter system. The latest technologies will be 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 includes a new lobby and visitor check-in area, community room, pet-adoption visiting rooms, upgraded kennels, a separate cattery, quarantine / isolation room for sick animals, examination rooms, staff breakout room, and administrative offices. Interior finishes include resilient flooring, maple work stations and millwork, solid surface countertops, and custom eco-resin panels.  


The building’s exterior will receive a new treatment of wood and metal cladding, and a new standing seam metal roof with skylights, as well as an illuminated timber-framed entrance vestibule. The property will be further enhanced with dog runs, pet walking trails, relief areas, and a multi-animal barn. Additional site work will improve circulation and accommodate new and additional parking.


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.

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