Walls painted in varying shades of blue, yellow and green are the first signs of the colorful, positive atmosphere the Palmetto Animal League hopes to create at its no-kill facility for dogs and cats scheduled to open the last weekend in October.
PAL director Amy Campanini stressed the group is creating an "adoption center," not a "shelter," for the animals.
About 25 dogs and 50 to 70 cats will be kept at the center until they find a family.
"We just can do so much more now that we have a facility," Campanini said Wednesday at an invitation-only event at the center in the Riverwalk Business park. "We were so limited with our foster homes."
Those homes will be maintained, along with the league's transportation program that sent 24 dogs to an upstate New York shelter for adoption in July.
Campanini hopes the league will be able to relocate or find homes for about 1,000 cats and dogs each year.
The center, still under construction, will feature 12 dog kennels. Campanini said dogs will spend most of their waking hours with volunteers outside or in a playroom outfitted with couches, a kitchen and televisions. The kennels will serve as places for the dogs to sleep or go to when they're sick or need privacy.
Ten cat rooms will provide a cageless environment and playgrounds. Each room will house an average of five felines.
The facility also features a clinic, a puppy room and special rooms for lost cats and dogs found wandering the streets.
"We want people to come here just to spend time," she said. "They don't have to come here just to adopt a cat or dog."
AT&T donated the 16-station phone system for the facility. Other construction materials, including paint, furniture and gravel, also were donated to the nonprofit PAL.