Back in 1998, Animal Arts worked with a local architect to transform a former warehouse grocery store into a 60,000 square-foot animal shelter for
NHS. In 2018, NHS brought us back to consult on a significant renovation to the building, to create the Judy Varner Adoption and Education Center.

The renovation of more than half the building included creating 12,000 square feet of new animal housing and the upgrade of all the animal holding spaces in the facility.

The design features a modern take on an animal shelter with bright white painted exposed duct work and skylights to bring in tons of natural light.

• A new training space with collapsible walls for flexibility .
• Stress-reducing, square dog runs that can be viewed by adopters from the corridor.
• Acoustically isolated dog pods to further reduce stress.
• Most cat housing was moved upstairs, but cat spaces can still be seen by guests in the lobby below through the glass railings.
• Larger, portalized cat condos.
• Cat community rooms with innovative play structures.
• A new, interactive, tech-enhanced lobby.
• New rabbit runs and double-sized cage housing for bunnies.

AIA Central States – 2021 Interior Design Merit Award

Project Name

Nebraska Humane Society


Omaha, Nebraska


37,101 Square Feet

What We Did

Schematic Design and Consulting