Kennedy Airport Building Luxury Animal Terminal

NEW YORK (AP) -

Jet-setting stallions and high-flying hounds at Kennedy Airport can look forward to a new luxury terminal that will handle the more than 70,000 animals flying in and out every year.

The ARK will more than measure up to terminals for humans: Horses and cows will occupy sleek, climate-controlled stalls with showers, doggies will lounge in hotel suites and there will be a special space for penguins.

The ARK is billed as the world’s first air terminal for animals. Set to open next year, the $48 million, 178,000-square-foot shelter and quarantine facility will take in every kind of animal imaginable — even an occasional sloth or aardvark. From here, they’ll head to barns, cages, racetracks, shows and competition venues in the United States and abroad.

Many arriving animals are quarantined for a period of time (for horses, it’s normally about three days) to make sure they’re not carrying contagious diseases. And The ARK is designed to make their stay as pleasant as possible, with hay-lined stalls for up to 70 horses and 180 head of cattle, plus an aviary and holding pens for goats, pigs and sheep.

Kennedy receives the bulk of animals entering the U.S., but there are similar facilities near airports in Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami.