DuPage County Animal Services breaks ground on expansion

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For the first time in its 45-year history, the DuPage County Animal Services (DCAS) building is getting an expansion.

The ground was broken on Tuesday afternoon, on the southern side of the existing building, at 120 N County Farm Road, in Wheaton. 

The expansion will have more than 4,300 square feet of renovations, in addition to 11,500 square feet of added enclosed spaces, and a 2,200 square-foot covered patio for outdoor training and events.

Private donors cover the cost

No general fund tax dollars were used for the project and it was made possible by private donors.

“We constantly get surprised by our community,” said the President of DuPage Animal Friends, Max Lecaros. “And I love to see the faces of our board members when the community just steps up and they just show their love in funds and in their volunteer time and their resources to help such an amazing cause.”

One anonymous donor contributed $4.5 million to the project and $1.5 million was raised by DCAS’s nonprofit partner, DuPage Animal Friends. In total, the construction will cost nearly $11 million.

“Every staff gave input on how to build this building,” said Brian Krajewski, Chairman of DuPage County’s Animal Services Committee. “I left halfway through a meeting, I had to go somewhere. Karen calls me and she’s like, ‘Brian, this building’s up to $10 million.’ Okay, So we just raise $10 million or $10.5 million, because I know the community really loves the animals. They will get behind it.”

More room for animals

The existing DCAS building was built in 1977 and has never been expanded. The new building will help with animal space, as currently, some animals live in the hallway.

“I’ve seen the shift in how DCAS has converted to caring for the animals internally and not just controlling the population, but really caring for them,” said Lecaros. “And now, as I mentioned, it’s really about not just caring about the animal, but all the families involved in the community.”

To learn more about the expansion and the county’s capital campaign, visit the DuPage County website.

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