CHICAGO (AP) — The city of Chicago says it is upgrading medical care for critically ill or injured animals at a key shelter.

A statement from the mayor’s office says $1.5 million is being set aside to renovate the city animal shelter’s medical facility and improve care.

Chicago Animal Care and Control’s executive director, Kelley Gandurski, says the improvements “will ultimately lead to more animals being rescued or adopted.”

A full renovation of the medical and surgery areas begins in January. The space is more than 20 years old. The renovation will include an isolation area that will help keep infectious diseases from spreading among animals.

Animal control will also work with the University of Illinois. The school’s veterinary students will help provide additional care to animals in the shelter.

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