The Jacksonville Humane Society celebrates the grand opening of its new animal shelter Adoption, Education & Community Resource Center.

Bacon Group designed the new shelter that opened on November 9, 2017. Part of the design emphasis created a welcoming gathering place for the community to rally around and support the Humane Society’s mission to save animals. Spaces for socializing are included in the animal adoption areas. Relaxed spaces encourage visitors to browse and enjoy selecting a new furry family member to adopt. Spaces are available for training and humane care education offerings to support more community outreach. The depressing jail-like appearances, once so common in old-fashioned animal shelters, are gone.

Watch the video for quick glimpses of dog and cat adoption areas. Learn from community leaders, board members and staff why this new animal shelter project was so important for Jacksonville, FL.


Shelter Design Specifics

Bacon Group architects, Construction Manager Auld & White Constructors, and Humane Society key staff used a team approach to plan and design the project. Phased construction allowed the Humane Society to remain open and fully operational throughout the construction process. That was no small feat on the busy and compact site.  The Humane Society staff keep up-to-date with what construction activities were scheduled. Likewise, construction Project Managers were on-site daily. Both groups kept the other informed so temporary adjustments in visitor or staff parking, for example, could be re-arranged.

Meanwhile behind the scenes, the animal shelter is a top-notch humane care facility. The floors and wall surfaces are easy to clean and sanitize. The zoned HVAC systems control humidity, odors, and noise. All animal housing is air conditioned, which is a key component in providing a healthy environment for animals and people living in steamy Florida. The floor plan is elongated because of the site. The new building joins to the previously constructed Community Veterinary Hospital that was also designed by Bacon Group. Co-joining the 6,505 sq. ft. hospital with the new 43,260 sq. ft. adoption, education and community resource center creates a more efficient operation.

Animal housing capacity is approximately 208 cats and 119 dogs. The project includes the design and construction of a 3,500 sq. ft. storage and maintenance warehouse. The entire master-planned site is 11.8 acres. It borders a navigable waterway that required site permitting through the Army Corps of Engineers. The site design accommodates some wetlands and an already existing pet cemetery on the property.

Construction Cost and How They Saved Over $2 Million

The beginning project budget for the new animal shelter center, warehouse, and site work was $15.2 million. The contracted construction amount was $10,958,388. However, $8,239,757 well-spent funds are the final cost. The Jacksonville Humane Society saved over $2.7 million. Jax Humane purchased of some of the equipment instead of allowing the construction team do it for them. Owner direct purchase can, therefore, lessen financial obligations otherwise assumed by the contractor and some sub-contractors and passed on to the client.

Come See for Yourself

Are you an animal loving animal shelter tourism fan? Add the new Jacksonville Humane Society facility to your “must visit list” for your next vacation to Florida. The address is 8464 Beach Blvd., Jacksonville, FL, and, yes, that is on the way out to the beach.

Learn more about The Jacksonville Humane Society. (

For more information about Bacon Group and our design work for private and public animal shelters, veterinary and animal boarding kennel and daycare facilities, please contact us at 727.725.0111.