Boarding Kennels: The Design Process

Now Available as an E-Book

Boarding Kennels: The Design Process

New E-Book:

New E-Book:

Our latest book is now available as an E-Book. See it here. If you are planning to build a new boarding kennel, you owe it to yourselves to read Boarding Kennels: The Design Process.

It covers land acquisition, building a list of wants and desires. We cover Kennel Enclosures, Drains, Vacuum Systems and so much more.


Next Time You Fly, Think Delta Air Lines!

Delta Air Lines announced it is taking a stand against animal trophy hunting.

This link to Chris Green’s blog came across my desk today.  He reports that Delta airlines CEO announced that  “Effective immediately, Delta will officially ban shipment of all lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo trophies worldwide as freight.”

Well, it’s about time!

Perhaps, FedEx and any other air transportation company, that has service to that region the world, will follow.

Kudos Chris!


Cattery Design

 See my latest article in Pet Boarding & Daycare magazine:

Cattery Design; CATS ARE PEOPLE TOO!

CATTERY DESIGN Cats are people too!
Cats are people too!

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.

Poisonous Holiday Plants

Was it Mistletoe, Poinsettia, or…? Merry Christmas

Keep your pets safe and have a wonderful Christmas:

Pets and Christmas plants…

Happy Thanksgiving and Safe Travel!

ThanksgivingOutside it’s 70 degrees today here at my studio, this, the Monday before Thanksgiving. The weatherman says that we are expecting snow on Wednesday and Thanksgiving day. Remember your pets in your holiday planning. These warm temps are short lived.

I’m so thankful for all those I have worked with this year in the design of their kennel, shelter or animal hospital, and I’m wishing each one of you a blessed and happy Thanksgiving.

To keep your pets safe, here are some holiday travel ideas.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Connecting Veterans with Jobs

banner-newI first thought with was outside my Kennel Design scope, but not so fast…

Most of you know I’m a US Navy Vet.  I was a corpsman and worked in several land hospitals and on an aircraft carrier that has a hospital on-board with a major trauma center and more beds and treatment facilities than all but the largest of hospitals.  My work started in Labor and Delivery as a very green corpsman, and then Emergency Medicine became my passion.

I have a real fondness for all those who help our veterans and active duty alike. This training has helped me design medical facilities, clinics, hospitals, both human and animal facilities all across the USA and beyond.  Having worked in the industry gives me a distinct advantage in designing these spaces, and I am most grateful for it and for the Navy.

A few days ago, I connected with Lucy Jensen on LinkedIn.  She has a website that connects veterans to employment, worldwide. It has been said, that, at any given time, there are an estimated 50,000 unemployed vets in this great country, and even more now after 911.   Here, in her own words, she outlines her work, and I thank her for it.

Flag“We work to connect military veterans and their families seeking civilian jobs with companies who have open career opportunities. If you or anyone in your network is looking for work either stateside or overseas, I encourage you to check out the job posts in the Careers Directory of my site All career postings are free to view, with no login required, and you can submit your resume directly there. You can also sign up for our Hot Jobs newsletter or RSS feeds to get all our job posts straight to your inbox, or join our Hot Jobs for Veterans and their Families group on LinkedIn at Thanks for the opportunity to share this–the more we spread the word, the more veterans we can help find jobs!”

There are all kind of jobs listed, even veterinary. So spread the word!! Please repost, like, share, pin, well, you know) this blog. Most of all, thank you to Lucy for connecting veterans with jobs. Then, on Veterans Day, Tuesday, November 11, thank a vet and an active duty solider for all those freedoms you enjoy everyday.

We Need MONEY and You’re Not Invited, but…


I get a number of invitations every week to attend some kind of fundraising event.  There are so many needs today, everywhere you look, and every humane society is no different. Being creative is very important to set yourself apart. This is the first time I’ve gotten an invite, that told me not to come…



All too often I see marketing campaigns that either are too little or are way over-the-top.  For example, too little might be a bake sale.  You are going to need to sell a lot of pies to fill your building fund.  Over-the-top might be, renting the local country club ballroom for thousands of dollars, to host a dinner and dance for a house full of would be donors.  You are going to need to sell a lot of tickets just to cover your expenses.

I would add professional fundraisers to this mix as well. Many big not-for-profit organizations spend hundreds of thousands on professional fundraisers.  Their ROI is often less than half, sometimes a mere 10 percent of the total dollars raised.

Then today, You’re Not Invited hits my inbox. You spread the word, you invite everyone to your big NO-Show Ball event, and you post the schedule of events:

7pm – NO Cocktails

8pm – NO Dinner

9pm – NO Program

10pm – NO Dancing

Please do NOT join us for this event.

Next, you outline what this event will save each person who doesn’t come:

NO gown to buy

NO tux to rent

NO missed football game

NO hair dresser costs

NO sitter

NO dinner to buy

NO need to go out in the cold


So, all the money that each ‘non-attendee’ saves, can now go directly to the dogs!


When marketing your project, think big, think broad, and spend little!

More thoughts regarding marketing