A Year of Construction

We’ve been preparing for this moment for quite some time- researching, fundraising, and planning for three new animal cottages at our Sanctuary, one of which would be our first ever built for small animals. Over $2,000,000 funds were established to begin this dream of creating these three cottages. An incredible accomplishment thanks to the many donors and supporters of Our Companions! After several inspections and applications, it was a joyous time at OC when all the permits were in place to start breaking ground! Every detail for the three cottages were meticulously researched to optimize the best care and enrichment for our current and future animal guests. Construction started in the spring of 2022, and we can’t believe how much has been accomplished in such a short amount of time!

As the cement was being poured, the cottages started to take shape! Next was the walls, windows, and roofing for all three cottages, which started to sink in the reality of these future buildings! As shipments were coming in, the construction crew worked hard to put every special feature together for our one of a kind cottages! Between the animals’ rooms, offices, and even catios, around 75 doors were purchased to supply all three cottages! As the foundation and bare bones of the cottages were established, the cosmetic construction took place outside the cottages, like roof shingles, paneling, pillars, and more! Towards the end of the year, cooling and heating functions started to be established, as well as electrical, so that the crew could begin indoor assembly. This includes flooring, insulation, installing the walls, painting, and ensuring every enrichment feature, like cat shelves, is in place!

Twilight House will be our fifth and largest canine cottage to date. Twilight House will come equipped with very familiar features to our previous canine cottages. This includes private dog rooms, fenced-in yards, a living room, kitchen, and bathroom. Yet it is very different from our previous canine cottages since it will include a complete physical therapy wing! It’ll have a physical therapy work room, an intake room, private offices, a dog room, and so many features that will help us care and rehabilitate our lovely guests. Twilight House will specialize in older dogs who are faced with physical challenges such as poor mobility, joint pain/arthritis, and advanced stages of other illnesses. There will be plenty of space to provide several healing modalities like cold laser, PEMF and a water treadmill to provide warm aqua therapy to dogs working on regaining mobility – without severely impacting their joints.

Our third cat cottage, Minnie’s Mews, will be very similar constructed to Jane’s Place that opened in 2018. However, the rooms inside will be specially built for under-socialized, fearful cats. Minnie’s Mews will feature special work rooms, informed by the latest behavioral science research. With this extra attention, these cats will become more comfortable with new situations and people, giving them the best chance for adoption. We also hope to help even more vulnerable populations, like Feline Leukemia cats, with this newly constructed cottage.

Lastly, Suzanne’s Place, our first ever cottage for small animals, will be built to house rabbits, mice, rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and even ferrets! Diligent research went into the construction of this new cottage to ensure the specialized, quality care for all of these delicate species. Windows will be built at the floor for the animals to look outside, a special play yard will be built for outdoor exercise, there will be an education center for learn purposes, and a separate ferret wing to prevent any cross interactions. This cottage will accommodate animals with special needs, disabilities, medical conditions, and behavioral issues. It also will enable us to better utilize the assistance of our youngest volunteers, which will not only benefit the animals, but will help to develop the next generation of responsible and caring pet guardians.

You can view the blueprints of Twilight House, Minnie’s Mews, and Suzanne’s Place here!

Now in January 2023, the cottages look fully formed and beautiful on the outside while the inside is starting to transform. We are so grateful for our supporters and our construction team for making our OC dreams come true! Help us continue securing funds for this year as we are finishing construction and forming plans to open these lovely new cottages! This is a very exciting time for our organization and we truly appreciate you being a part of this journey here with us!