Slated to open next year, the international airfield will debut a new luxury terminal that will handle the more than 70,000 animals flying in and out every year. Dubbed “The Ark,” named after the Biblical vessel in the Genesis flood narrative, the 178,000-square-foot shelter and quarantine facility will accommodate a variety of animals, according to the Associated Press.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, animals arriving in the U.S. are quarantined for a period of time depending on the country of origin and to ensure they’re not carrying contagious diseases. During this time, the animals will be housed and will have access to a number of plush amenities. Pets taken out of the U.S. are subject upon return to the same CDC quarantine regulations as those entering for the first time. Horses, for example, are usually quarantined for about two to three days. To make certain their stay is pleasant, The Ark is designed with hay-lined stalls for up to 70 horses and 180 head of cattle. There will also be an holding pens for goats, pigs and sheep.
Dogs will have access to a 20,000-square-foot luxury resort-like space, where they can go swimming in bone-shaped pools or receive massage therapy and pawdicures. The resort-like area will also include flat-screen TVs. Owners can check on their four-legged family members via a webcam.
Cats will have their own tress to climb.
The terminal will also include a 24-hour animal clinic run by Cornell University’s veterinary college.
The Ark, which will cost $48 million, is being constructed on an unused cargo terminal that has been demolished.
In a statement to the AP, Cliff Bollmann, a leading airport architect working on The ARK for the San Francisco-based architecture firm Gensler, said, “A lot of our design making is in collaboration with veterinarians and consultants to help minimize the amount of stress placed on the animal.”
While JFK international airport receives a large number of animals entering American soil, there are similar facilities in other major metropolitan cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and San Juan.
Until the ultra-luxe terminal opens, animals will continue to be transported to the approximately 65-year-old Vetport, which is only 10,000-square-foot.
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