The new Muncie Animal Shelter is now open to the public and houses more cats and dogs than ever before.

The Muncie Animal Shelter on 901 W Riggins Road held their ribbon cutting on Sept. 9, and the first day of operation was Sept. 12.

The new location was given to the city by a former juvenile detention company that closed and was delinquent in property taxes and payments on a loan. It cost about $350,000 to remodel, the Star Press reported.

Phil Peckinpaugh, the shelter's director, said the building comes with major improvements, including its size.

“It’s a much larger facility that can hold more animals,” Peckinpaugh said. “Right now we’re looking to hold about 75 dogs and 150 cats.”

In addition, the animal shelter is offering more community programs for dogs and children.

“We can offer more educational and training programs for the animals like dog obedience classes and a reading program for children where they can actually read to the animals,” Peckinpaugh said. “We couldn’t do all this in the space we had before."

Peckinpaugh hopes the larger size and the bright, colorful walls with large photos of cats and dogs will help attract more volunteers.

“It’s much more appealing and in a centralized area, so I have a feeling we will attract a great number of volunteers,” Peckinpaugh said. “ The positivity we will bring to the community is boundless.”

For those looking to adopt, Peckinpaugh said the process is fairly easy and simple.

“If someone comes in and sees an animal they like, they have the option to take it out and play with it in a section of the shelter called “Kitty City” which is our two big rooms of cats that people can go inside of and play with the cats,” he said.

It’s $100 to adopt a dog and $65 to adopt a cat. Adopters fill out an application and must get approved to pay the fee, and once they do, the process is done.

The Muncie Animal Shelter is open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and noon to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.