January 2017 Update: The ARK Pet Oasis is now open.
When the $48-million The Ark terminal opens at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City next year, traveling dogs will be able to enjoy a bone-shaped pool, massage therapy, “pawdicures” and more in its 20,000-square-foot Paradise 4 Paws resort. They can spend the night in rooms with full-sized beds and flat-screen TVs.
There will be plenty of fancy amenities for cats, too, including a jungle with custom-made climbing trees.
“It will be a place for people who love their pets like they love their kids,” Cliff Bollmann, one of its architects, told Crain’s New York Business.
Along with pets, the 178,000-square-foot facility will be available for horses, cattle, penguins and other animals.
The Ark terminal, which is currently under construction, is replacing the VetPort, a kennel that opened in the 1950s. According to Crain’s New York Business, a report by the New York City Economic Development Corp. and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey found VetPort’s management to be “poor” and the facility “suffered from a location that insulated it from the traveling public for whom a large portion of its revenue … was targeted.”
Unlike the VetPort, The Ark will provide quarantine facilities for animals arriving from other countries. Previously, this required a two-hour trip to a federal quarantine facility.
According to a press release, The Ark will be “the world’s only privately owned, integrated air-freight center, in-transit animal handling modules, USDA-approved import quarantine, veterinary hospital, diagnostic laboratory, and companion animal boarding and grooming spa.” It’s anticipated to “effectively transform the air transport of animals worldwide.”
Construction is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2016.
More than 2 million pets and other animals are transported by air annually, according to the U.S. Dept. of Transportation. About 70,000 of them will pass through The Ark each year.
The Ark “will be a place for people who love their pets like they love their kids,” Bollmann told Crain’s New York Business.
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