Case Studies

Humane Society of Missouri Best Buddy Pet Center

 Maryland Heights, Missouri

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The Humane Society of Missouri (HSMO) has been dedicated to giving second chances to pets since 1870. HSMO’s Best Buddy Pet Center provides a safe and caring haven to large and small animals in need who have been neglected, abused, or abandoned. The goal is to end the cycle of abuse and pet overpopulation through rescue and investigation efforts, spay and neuter programs, and educational classes.

In 2012, HSMO determined it was time to upgrade its building and location. The shelter had outgrown its outdated building and needed a larger facility in a more accessible location. Relying on a generous donation of property, HSMO waited until 2014, when a location became available, and began to move forward with the project.

Holland Construction Services, Inc., partnered with HSMO and Kuhlmann Design Group (KdG) on the $16.6 million project. In April of 2017, HSMO presented the new facility to the community. The center accommodates the complex systems requirements of a state-of-the-art animal shelter and nationally accredited veterinary hospital.


Best Buddy Pet Center’s Challenges

HSMO’s primary goal was to create a more inviting and welcoming space for both pets and people that’s easily recognizable as a place of refuge for domestic animals. Other important goals included:

  • Satisfying the programmatic and functional requirements of the HSMO
  • Encouraging pet adoption
  • Improving the comfort, temperament, and wellbeing of the animals
  • Transforming the perception and reality of animal welfare and sheltering in the St. Louis community


Holland’s Solutions

In close collaboration with Kuhlman Design Group and the team at HSMO, Holland helped the team create a fresh, new space that addressed all of HSMO’s challenges and goals. The team succeeded in designing and constructing a building that is unlike any other animal shelter or veterinary hospital in the United States.


Recognizable, Inviting, and Welcoming Animal Refuge Center

The exterior features colorful Trespa panels adorned with giant graphic panels of cats and dogs, leaving no doubt about what the facility does. On the inside, a soaring atrium welcomes visitors into a colorful, bright, and airy lobby.  Interior paint colors are relaxed and pleasant. Wayfinding signage enhances the human experience.


Satisfaction of Programmatic and Functional Requirements

Special attention was paid to the incorporation of complex HVAC, lighting, electric, waste, and other systems needs of a large, progressive animal hospital.  Designated space for a veterinary library, veterinary offices, staff kitchen, and surgical shower and locker area helped to make this facility a veterinary medical center worthy of its American Animal Hospital Association accreditation.

The veterinary services area houses specially designed spaces dedicated to a laboratory, a pharmacy, an underwater treadmill, laser therapy, platelet-rich plasma therapy, and multiple mobility devices for rehabilitation, acupuncture, and chiropractic care. In addition, three surgical suites were built specifically for spay/neuter, orthopedic and dental surgeries, and a digital radiology center.


Encouraging Pet Adoption

The entrance atrium features a specially designed area showcasing adoptable small animals in pet penthouses. Visitors meet with larger dogs in the Katz Kozy Canine Kennels, which are flooded with natural light and feature colorful walls, plexiglass paneled kennel doors, and automatic water spigots.


Improving Comfort, Temperament, and Wellbeing of the Animals

How animals feel has a lot to do with how they recover and interact with others. The design team paid close attention to the scale and placement of areas where the animals would be sheltered.

  • Larger animals get cages appropriate to their size.
  • Many areas let in natural light.
  • Isolation spaces help to limit cross contamination and restrict sightlines to reduce hostility among different breeds.
  • Special flooring throughout the building allows for thorough cleaning and inhibits bacteria growth.


Transforming the Perception and Reality of Animal Welfare and Sheltering

KdG worked hard to address this goal throughout the project. They wanted to create a one-of-a-kind pet center that felt like a true sanctuary for deserving animals. They wanted to create a light, bright, and welcoming space that didn’t have the typical “animal shelter” feel. Every decision was based on evoking feelings of hope, health, and comfort for both animals and humans.


Lasting Results

The new Best Buddy Pet Center is a $16.6 million, 44,200-square-foot facility providing an inviting atmosphere for animals and humans alike. Since the grand opening in 2017, pet adoptions have increased by 40%, and client visits for veterinary services have increased nearly 30%. New jobs have been created within the facility since the opening, and more new positions are anticipated as the business continues to grow. HSMO’s Best Buddy Pet Center is a state-of-the-art animal shelter and nationally accredited veterinary hospital.

By selecting Holland as their construction manager early in the design process, HSMO was able to build a facility that addressed all of their challenges and goals and ultimately improved their overall operations. If you’re interested in working with Holland on your next building project, contact us today!

Topics: Commercial