In 2016, New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) will open the Ark, a $48 million luxury facility for dogs, cats, horses, birds, and cattle. The terminal, which will be the world’s first devoted to animals, will accommodate the 70,000 animals that pass through the airport annually, both as companion animals and for imports and exports. The 178,000-square-foot space will include a “large animal departure lounge” equipped with climate-controlled stalls for horses, a veterinary hospital offering round-the-clock general and emergency care such as surgeries, and a Paradise 4 Paws resort with a bone-shaped dog pool and cat jungle gym. The Ark’s lead architect Cliff Bollmann says that airports typically treat animals as an afterthought, and this terminal will be a huge improvement from JFK’s current VetPort, a 10,000-square-foot kennel built in the 1950s. The heavy flow of animals through JFK, Bollmann says, “warrants a facility that caters to animals to make their trip as stress-free as possible.”
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