Category Archives: Design Services

A New Folding Kennel Option

A Folding Kennel Option

Crates Don’t Work Well.

Folding crates are a pain. You never seem to have the right size for the animal. When you fold them up, where do you store them? Most often, I see crates with a broken plastic floor that causes the animal to lie on the wire bottom-certainly not a good thing.

So, what do you do when you need more kennel space?

This folding, Space Saver kennel came across my desk today. It is full size, and folds flat to the wall in no time. I think this new kennel has great potential for use in a daycare rooms for downtime or to provide additional boarding for that busy holiday weekend when you’re out of space. For an SPCA, these would be great for those times when you need a lot of intake space, but when not needed, they fold-up in short order to free up the room for other activities. Have a look at this link, and be sure to watch the video.

If you are interested, let me know if you need help in laying the space out, and then we can get you some pricing.

Design Your Kennel For The Future

no parkingKennel Design; review all the codes before you start your project.

I am an architectural designer, and I specialize in animal care facility design. My work extends all across the USA and in countries around the globe.  Because my work is, well,  everywhere, I find it very interesting how both local building codes and zoning ordinances vary from one project to the next.  Even neighboring cities have different regulations.

One of the services we offer is a Feasibility Study.  In this study, we examine the local regulations to help ensure that the design we are about to prepare meets these local regulations. This will help design your kennel for the future.

I saw post recently where a homeowner posted a giant NO PARKING! sign on his front lawn.  Apparently, patrons of the kennel across the street are parking in this man’s driveway while they are conducting business at the kennel.  The kennel has no off-street parking, and the street is only 18′ wide, leaving little room for parking.  Because the kennel has been there for years, the city says, “…it’s not our problem!”

_DSC6950-31On many projects, we use a circular driveway for customers to drive up, drop off / pick up, and then drive off.  I might suggest that a kennel have an attendant on the drive too during the morning intake hours, and in the evening, offer a service where the customer can call ahead to pick up an animal, and having the pet ready and waiting.  Services like this, reduce the number of parking spaces needed and are especially good in situations, like this, where the kennel is operating in a non-commercial zoning district with no off-street parking.

Parking is a real concern, but for a kennel, there are so many aspects to getting the design right.  So, when planning for your kennel, be sure to research all the local regulations, but also, consider the needs of your neighbors too.  Starting off on the right foot will go a long way in building a business.

If you need help in the design of your new boarding kennel, animal shelter, or veterinary hospital, give me a call.


Shipping Container Kennels

Containers for Kennels

Containers for Kennels

The other day, I saw a few pictures on Pinterest of shipping container kennels. They made me raise an eye brow.

At first glance, one might think that these containers seem like the perfect answer for all your shelter’s troubles.  No more leaky roof, or over-crowding, or broken kennel enclosures, poor drainage, or whatever plagues your kennel.  Just drop in another container and everything is well again, and they’re cheap too!  Now, that really sounds great…

but, not so fast!

A Google search on the words ‘container architecture quickly reveals that using containers in construction is nothing new.  Homes and commercial buildings are made of containers and containers are stacking up on every port around the country.  They were shipped into our country with products and goods, but they cost too much to return them empty.  So the cost of containers are fairly cheap.

With a little planning, containers make a very strong, safe and watertight building.  But, these ‘buildings’ must meet all the building code requirements that any commercial building would need to meet.  Hence, the planning!

The inside needs to have water, both supply and drainage.  It must have heating, cooling, ventilation,  electric, lighting, insulation, and must meet all the requirements for the ADA, Americans with Disabilities Act, too.

Outside, these ‘permanent’ buildings must meet the requirements for gravity and lateral forces; both a proper foundation to rest on, and the building must be tied to the foundation to resist lateral wind loads.  The doors and pathways around the buildings must also be accessible for wheelchair access and they must meet zoning and setback requirements too.

So, the thought of just dropping a few containers in place, cutting in a few dog doors, and moving in the animals, could be not be farther from the truth.

However, with a little planning,

shipping container kennels may come in handy for short-term housing of animals after a natural disaster, or for emergency quarantine.  Also, it is always a problem finding housing for animals when renovating an existing shelter. This is especially so, when taking an existing shelter building down completely, to build a new one in it’s place.  Perhaps temporally housing of animals in containers may be an answer, but, it’s all a matter of proper planning.

For all your kennel or animal hospital design needs, give me a call–that’s what I do, worldwide, and  I’m here to help.

Kennel Design Services

Kennel Design Services

Your Drawings Are Ready!

Whether You Need Just a Simple Plan, A Full Building and Site Kennel Design, or Just Consulting Services; We Have You Covered!

I often get questions about the kennel design services that we offer and the costs involved. This post explains what we do.

We design projects for:

  • Boarding Kennels
  • Pet Hotels
  • Animal Daycare
  • Animal Shelters
  • Veterinary Hospitals
  • Police, Military & Homeland Working Dog Kennels
  • And even private Chicken Coops
    We do it all.

Our services are available in two ways:

  • Design Services:

    Depending on your needs, we develop plans for your project based on the information you provide from our Conceptual Kennel Design Purchase Order Form. Each project is unique, and so, each is customized to the clients’ specific needs.  It costs no more to get exactly what you want.  Working from the office here in Pennsylvania, or meeting with clients’ anywhere in the world, our work extends to countries around the globe.

    Working one on one with clients, we develop as much, or as little, as the project demands. From offering design ideas, to preparing complete construction documents, we only provide what you need. This keeps your costs very low; you’ll never pay for unneeded services and building design fees start as low as $800.00 USD.

  • Consulting Services

    Sometimes, a client needs just a little information regarding their existing building, or perhaps needs specific information about a portion of an upcoming project they are planning.  Perhaps an architect is needing information regarding a kennel project for which they have never designed in the past.

    In these cases, we offer consulting services to answer questions guiding them to a successful project.

So what ever the need, we can design a solution.  Call me anytime, I’m usually, here in the studio designing a kennel.


Pet Boarding, The Trends are Changing!

By Craig L. McAllesterAnimal Shelter

Last week, a client asked me to visit their animal shelter for an on-site consult. They’re needing to expand the facility, and they wanted some design ideas so that they can start fundraising. For renovations or additions like this, I do on-site visits quite often, and all across the USA or wherever the project takes me. You see, in today’s business, it’s all about the services, and I strive to provide the best.

On short day-trips like this, my wife, Nancy, likes to ride along, but for longer trips, she stays at home with Commissioner Gordon, our one-eyed Shih Tzu. So, with a quick call to Gordon’s sitter, Nancy and I were on our way.  It is so convenient to be able to call Jessica, have Gordon picked up here, so we can go anytime we need!  It’s all about the services!

A few weeks ago, Nancy, Gordon and I were out shopping. I was thinking that someone should have an hourly animal daycare service close to the shopping mall. Well, a quick Google search revealed that this could be an up-and-coming trend. Depending on where you are, hourly daycare services allow you to ‘drop-then-shop‘. It’s all about the services!

I once suggested to a client that he buy a short bright yellow school bus for his daycare operation. The bus should have ‘Pet Daycare’ printed large on the sides, and it should be parked at the street as a billboard when not in use. He should replace the seats with mounted travel crates, then, each day, as with any school bus, he would make his scheduled rounds and pick up his daycare ‘students’. He’d pull into their driveway, turn on those big red flashing lights, and pick up his riders, and return them at the end of the day.  It’s all about the services!

Some in-home pet sitters, and boarding kennels as well, are now offering services beyond animal care.  They will check your home while your are away–they know your gone anyway, as they have your pets.  They will make sure the stove is off, the plants are watered, the garage door is down and the doors are all locked.  They will bring in the paper and the mail, and even pick-up the pets after the owners’ are gone. It’s really all about the services!

According to the American Pet Products Association, here in the United States, in 1994, the pet industry spending was $17 billion.  That amount will likely exceed $55 billion in 2014, and seemingly, there is no slowing in site. 

 So indeed, it’s all about the services!

Craig L. McAllester, Kennel Designer

When you are ready to start the design of your new kennel or animal shelter,
please give me a call.  I’ll have the answers you need, or I know who does.
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