TAVARES, Fla. -- Commissioners in Lake County approved the money for a new animal shelter Tuesday, which will help the facility continue to push its no-kill mission.

  • Lake County's animal shelter is beyond capacity with dogs, cats
  • Proposed new shelter cost is $7.8 million
  • New shelter site at corner of County Road 448

The current shelter in Tavares has been filled to capacity since the county decided to make the shelter no-kill last year.

"We have the space for about 150 dogs and about 200 cats. Right now we have probably 170 dogs and probably closer to 300 cats," said Whitney Boylston, Lake County's director of the Office of Animal Services.

Boylston herself has to share an office with four feral dogs while they wait for adoption. 

"They've been hanging out in my office for a couple of months now," she said.

The county commission held a public hearing on Tuesday to start financing a $7.8 million new shelter, to be built around the corner on County Road 448.

"We really lack the ability to separate our populations," said Boylston, "so we need to keep our sick animals away from our healthy animals while they are treated, to get them ready for adoption."

The more than 2-decade-old shelter is in bad shape and fans and portable air conditioning units are used to keep pets and volunteers cool.

No timetable has been set for construction.