Rethink Your Life!
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The Work of Art and The Art of Work
Kiko Denzer on Art

Cob: cob and others: animal shelter?

Amanda Peck ap615 at
Wed Aug 20 06:01:49 PDT 2003

My turn to be naive and idealistic.

I'm on the board of what we hope will become the county-wide no-kill animal 
shelter.  It may not be too early to start thinking of ways we can use 
natural building for us.  We don't have land yet, nowhere close to enough 
money to build even if that is donated.

But the requirements may be suitable only for concrete, huge drains, near 
fire-hose supplies of water.  I am looking for ideas--links welcome--to do 
something different.

Must be easy-to-clean.

Moreover MUST be easy to disinfect.  Nothing worse than presiding over a 
raging epidemic that surfaces again after a new lot of (mostly dogs here) 
animals arrives.  And we could use a small surgery.   There are traveling 
spay-neuter programs, but they need  a location to work in.  Surgery for 
dogs and cats is NOT aseptic, visit your local vet!, but it does need to be 
pretty well antiseptic, like a field hospital.

Must be proof against digging, chewing, marking with urine, don't need a 
gorgeous building that's falling apart after a year.  On the other hand, 
concrete floors work a lot better if they have those huge rubber mats on 

We really want to build with volunteers (local when possible) because 
staffing later on is going to be mostly volunteer unless somebody comes up 
with a whopping endowment.  So natural building ideas--cob, straw-bale, 
compressed earth blocks, sound like a really good idea to get people 

Any ideas?

There are two kinds of shelters:  Big, that house unadoptable and retired 
animals for the rest of their lives--like the not-too-far away elephant 
shelter, cat retirement homes and so on.  Small, that take in animals 
(quarantine, take care of the most immediate medical problems), distribute 
to foster care and eventual adoption.  The former is lovely and 
romantic--and needed.  The latter, if the network is in place, is less 
disruptive to the neighbors, better for the adoptable animals.  We'd prefer 
the small one.

Sorry, people, if, like me, you get two of these messages.  But I'd like 
ideas from as wide an area as possible.


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