ORANGE COUNTY, Fa. – New industrial fans and white sun-reflective paint are bringing some relief to panting pups inside Building 300 at the Orange County Animal Services facility.
"It is hot and it is Florida," said Samantha Holsten, with Orange County Animal Services. "And we want to make sure we are taking care of those animals."
The new fans were installed a few weeks ago and new paint was added this week after a study from 2016 which showed temperatures inside the enclosed area, which has no air conditioning, peaked at 95 degrees during the summer. That study also showed the need for a new animal shelter building after the current one could not work with an HVAC system.
"We were unable to retrofit an A/C unit in this particular building, so we went forward with a ventilation system to help with the air," Holsten said.
The $450,000 ventilation system was added in 2017 and now, with the new industrial fans and paint, temperatures have dropped about 10 degrees.
On Thursday, cards on the dog kennels were flopping in the breeze from the fans.
"I've noticed a difference, I have heard the volunteers and staff have felt a difference," Holsten said.
News 6 saw there was water in all of the kennels for the dogs. Staff and volunteers are trained to know the signs of heat exhaustion.
"If you see an animal that is not looking so great our employees bring it up to the clinic to make sure it is checked and cooled off," Holsten said.
She says it happens sometimes. However, Orange County officials say an animal has never died due to the heat. County officials still believe there is still a need for a new building with A/C. A proposal is scheduled to come before the Orange County Board of County Commissioners next month.
For more information on the 2016 study and improvements since, click here.