AWLA Lobby Renovation

Posted on March 1, 2019

AWLA has big things planned in 2019 to commemorate our 75th Anniversary.  This month, we’re thrilled to announce that we are renovating our lobby for the first time in nearly twenty years!

We know a lobby remodel may not sound that exciting, especially compared to our most recent cat and dog room renovations (completed in 2014 and 2015, respectively), but AWLA’s lobby is the nerve center of the organization, and it could use some work!

The lobby handles it all. Come in on a busy weekend and you may experience what can best be described as ‘organized chaos’. At any given time, staff and volunteers can be seen working side-by-side to comfort  a community member who is devastated to surrender a family pet, outcome an adoption to an excited first-time kitten parent, receive injured wildlife, or reunite a lost dog with its owner.  All this happens simultaneously, in one small area, and it can be stressful for the public, staff, volunteers, and the animals we serve.

So, after years of having a lobby remodel on our wish list, we knew the time was right to pursue this goal now to accommodate the increased number of adoptions that we are facilitating and programs that we are offering to our community.

We looked at other shelters, studied best practices and current trends, and spoke to several architects to develop a new lobby plan that would improve the visitor experience.  Ultimately, we decided upon a new configuration, with adoption counseling and facilitation concentrated on one side, and all other animal care services and programs, including questions about wildlife, lost and found pet assistance, owner surrenders, foster support, and community assistance like low-cost spay/neuter vouchers, on the other side. We’re confident that this new layout will support our mission to improve the lives of animals, by streamlining and enhancing our processes.

The shelter will remain open and fully operational during the renovation, but in order to do so, we must implement some temporary practices and procedures. Starting in mid-March, the front office will be relocated to our Education Room, and access to show adoptable animals will change while the lobby is under construction. We thank you in advance for your patience and promise that the inconvenience will be worth it! The renovation is estimated to take two months, so please keep an eye on our Facebook page and website for updates!


Sam Wolbert, President & CEO