Lake County’s animal control and care facility is moving from an old building in Mundelein to a newly built complex in Libertyville.
Animal control does vaccinations, provides public awareness, houses abandoned animals and investigates animal cruelty complaints. All phone numbers to the department will remain the same.
The new 10,000-square-foot building is located at 18736 W. Peterson Road, which is just east of Route 45. Department spokeswoman Carolyn Waller said the one-story facility cost $3.5 million.
Lake County first bought the five-acre plot of land in 2012 for $475,000 from a local entrepreneur who invented new medical equipment. The man became ill and put the land up for sale. There was one building already on the land; it was rehabbed and on April 15 became the county’s behavior health outpatient and mental care facility.
The new animal control building is expected to open on July 21, while the old building in Mundelein is expected to close on July 25.
One significant change is a new fenced-off area where people can drop off animals. The area also includes a panel to signal deputy sheriffs. Waller said people used to leave animals tied up to light poles or fences overnight, whereas now deputies at any time can stop by and take animals inside after the owner is gone.
The new complex will employ approximately 14 staff, and will provide temporary shelter for as many as 50 dogs and 50 cats monthly. It will include 35 dog kennels, a cat room, a grooming room, spaces for less traditional pets, a garage for safe transfer of animals, a small conference room and office space for staff.
Waller said the current building, located at 29278 N. Route 83, near Route 60, is owned by Lake County and will be either repurposed or sold. The county board has not yet decided which route to pursue, she said.
The Mundelein building was constructed in the 1970s as a private kennel and then converted into the county’s animal control headquarters in 1995. However, Waller said major work was needed to the heating and cooling systems, including the ductwork in walls and ceilings.
Waller said making needed repairs to the building would have also triggered new flooding regulations.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requires buildings in floodplains to be reinforced if the owners are already making major repairs. Waller said the needed upgrades would have activated that mandate, and the structural changes would have been costly.
The building does have minor flooding issues, Waller said, but none that jeopardized animal safety or resulted in major property damages.
Residents who need to visit animal control are encouraged to call ahead to verify which building is being used.