New Humane Animal Shelter

729 E. Hoffer Street
Kokomo, Indiana


When the staff of the Kokomo Humane Society (KHS) first approached Grinsfelder Associates, they were operating from a facility that was located on the northeast edge of Kokomo adjacent to the local waste management site.  Their home consisted of multiple buildings, which required both staff and potential adopters to traverse the outdoors to access various services.  To reduce the likelihood of animals escaping while moving amongst the buildings, a 6-foot high chainlink fence wrapped the majority of the site.  While this served the functional need of containing the animals, it meant that potential adopters were greeted by chainlink fencing and gating to access the buildings.


In addition to the site concerns, the buildings lacked viable meeting space, adoption interaction space, and medical treatment areas.  Moreover, the facility fell short in many areas of the “Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters” as published by the Association of Shelter Veterinarians.


While working with Grinsfelder Associates to establish a program for a new facility, KHS kicked off a fundraising campaign with the goal of raising $2 million.  They also began looking at property in Kokomo to find an ideal location for their new facility.  Their search ended when they found a property in central Kokomo located on a prominent corner.  As building design proceeded, Grinsfelder Associates and KHS worked with the City of Kokomo to develop a site layout that would work well for the shelter, while also meeting new design objectives of the City that would slow traffic and encourage non-vehicular travel.


The resulting building features two entries – one for adopters and one for animal intake – as well as dog housing for adoptable, stray, isolation, and potentially dangerous dogs, both cage and colony housing for cats, including adoptable, stray, and isolated cats, multiple animal interaction rooms, outdoor dog walking and interaction areas, and a medical area with surgical capability.  During the later stages of design, the decision was made to add a cat cafe to the building.  The cafe features its own entry, cafe seating, a cat colony where visitors can interact with adoptable cats, and an outdoor “catio” for the cats to enjoy the outdoors while also being in a protected enclosure.  The cafe offers baked goods, beverages, and KHS-branded merchandise for sale to visitors.  In addition, the cafe features an entry to the facility’s conference room where events such as “cat yoga” and birthday parties can occur.


Since opening in the summer of 2018, the new Kokomo Humane Society has seen a significant increase in both visitors and adoption rates.