SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Spartanburg County is taking steps forward to building its own animal shelter. There was a special meeting held Wednesday afternoon.

Currently, all of the county’s pets and strays go to Greenville County.

A consultant presented her recommendations to Spartanburg County Council, for a pet resource center where the goal is to keep pets with people.

A one-story building, operating 7 days a week, filled with 67 staff members is what Spartanburg County’s animal shelter could look like.

“A shelter intake is separating pets and people and that’s what we want to reverse with a new modern-based community welfare system,” said Dr. Sara Pizano.

Dr. Sara Pizano, founder of Team Shelter USA, an animal welfare consulting firm, says the goal is to have a foster-based system.

“Shortest length of stay is the name of the game. That’s going to be how you keep animals healthy, minimize their stress,” she said. “When you minimize their stress, you’re going to minimize the stress of staff, the public and your volunteers.”

She says the shelter should be durable, sanitized, healthy and odor free, with running water, lighting and power.

“About 1,500 animals a year would go into the pet resource center and need to be placed.”

She says a small percentage will have to be euthanized due to medical cases that cannot be treated or aggressive dogs.

Dr. Pizano says community partnerships and collaborations with other groups are key. This, she says, can help offset costs. What programs there are going to be, these partnerships and what it’s all going to look like are all variables to be considered before the shelter is built.

She recommends that the interior should be around 19,000 square feet and the exterior should be almost 5,000. The initial building cost could be almost $18 million.

“Now it’s our turn to step up to the plate,” said David Britt.

County Councilmen, David Britt, says he’s excited about it.

“I was on this council when we euthanized thousands and thousands a year and we didn’t know what else to do,” said Britt. “We were stuck in a Paradyme. Now, we have an opportunity to do things differently.”

Angel Cox, CEO of the Spartanburg Humane Society, says this is a win-win for everyone.

“We are thrilled, we are so glad that they are taking this step and that they’re working on getting the money together, the plans together to make this happen,” said Cox.

She says the Humane Society is 100% over capacity.

“I think it’s really going to help us as an organization because it’s going to take that strain off of us that we’re getting from being overcrowded,” she said.

At the next council meeting, the staff is going to propose a draft of a funding strategy and designs for their building process.

Council members say the shelter will take two years to build, from when they break ground to opening.