Palma is to have one of the largest and most up to date animal shelters in Europe. After months of talks and planning, it was announced yesterday that the Son Reus animal protection centre is to finally be vastly expanded and work will start in September. Palma city council yesterday unveiled a model of the new centre which will cost 1.526.292 euros (over 253 million pesetas). The new centre will include over 130 animal runs, a lake and a play and animal petting area for school children. Once completed, the centre will be more than twice its current size of 10.000 square metres and the most modern in Europe. The city council's chief environment engineer, Miquel Blando, explained that once operational, the centre will be much more than a shelter for stray and unwanted pets. It will also care for wild animals, house a microchip control centre (all domestic pets should be fitted with microchips) and also include an environmental school. There are also a number of other schemes being discussed. For example, the council is considering a pet-adoption scheme for families who live in city centre apartments or have not got time to look after a pet. Under the scheme, they would adopt a pet at the centre and be able to visit it and care for it in their spare time. According to council figures, last year 734 animals were found new homes and that during the first four months of this year, 249 had been adopted from the shelter.