Delta could have a new animal shelter by the end of next year.
Chief administrative officer George Harvie announced Monday night the municipality has secured land to build a new home for the Delta Community Animal Shelter.
"It's really important for us to have this new shelter," said shelter manager Sarah Lowe, "and it's going to make just a huge impact."
Lowe said staff and volunteers will be able to do things differently with a new shelter.
"We're going to be able to do things more efficiently and economically, so we're very excited."
Delta has been actively looking for a new location for the shelter since 2009.
The current shelter was built in 1972 and was originally designed to only house dogs. Cats now make up 50 per cent of the shelter's population and are housed in three trailers on the lot.
In the main building, the hallways are narrow and the dogs face each other, which leads to barking, aggression and anxiety issues that can make the animals harder to adopt, Harvie said. As well, there is only one room in the building for lunch, meetings, animal care and treatment. There is no space to adequately secure dogs that are considered dangerous.
There have also been concerns around the shelter's proximity to the South Fraser Perimeter Road, which is currently under construction, and the lack of walking trails in the immediate area.
The project is included in Delta's five-year capital plan, although a price tag has not been finalized.
The new shelter will be built on two adjacent lots on Tilbury and Hopcott roads.
Harvie said the new building would feature an open, welcoming foyer, soundproofed administration area, 18 dog kennels and enhanced feline facilities.
He said staff plans to bring back a contract award for council's consideration at the Dec. 12 meeting and regular project updates will start in then new year.
It's estimated the new shelter will be complete by the end of 2012.