JFK Airport to Debut World's First Pet Terminal

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A new terminal at New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport has literally gone to the dogs.

A defunct cargo terminal is being converted into “The ARK,” a 178,000-square-foot terminal exclusively for traveling animals. When it opens next year, it will be the first of its kind.

The $48 million terminal will act as both a hotel of sorts, and a quarantine. Dogs will get their own 20,000-square-foot “resort” run by the company Paradise 4 Paws. Bringing new meaning to the term “dog house,” it will feature flat-screen TVs, bone-shaped swimming pools, a place for “pawdicures” (for a pooch’s “nail pawlish” needs), and massage therapy. To make sure the poodle party doesn't get out of hand, owners will be able to check in on their pups via webcam—but they'll have to cough up $100 per night for the lodgings.

Lest you think the architects behind the terminal were canine-biased, there’s also a place where cats will be able to climb trees, and other customized areas that will ensure that the various animals passing through have access to amenities suited to their needs—from stalls, to stables, to holding pens, aviaries, and showers. There’s even a space dedicated to the mating privacy of penguins, enough room for 70 horses and 180 head of cattle, and of course, a vet hospital system.

While a multimillion-dollar terminal dedicated to animals might seem like an extravagant investment, it’s worth noting that JFK sees more fauna traffic than most airports, enough to warrant proper facilities to handle the travelers. More than 70,000 of them stop through each year, and certain animals like horses require a quarantine period of up to three days.

As Cliff Bollmann, a leading airport architect working on The ARK for the San Francisco-based architecture firm Gensler, told The Guardian, "A lot of our design making is in collaboration with veterinarians and consultants to help minimize the amount of stress placed on the animal."

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