The BC SPCA in Fort St. John has a new home.
The non-profit society has signed a three-year lease for a building at 10503 89th Avenue in Fort St. John. The SPCA had to vacate its existing facility last March after structural issues were identified which made it unsafe for humans and animals to continue to use the building.
“We’re very excited to finally have a physical space to work from again,” says Adrienne McBride, the BC SPCA’s senior director for Community Animal Centres. “Even though our services for animals have continued in Fort St. John with the help of our community partners and our South Peace location, we look forward to welcoming people back into a facility where we can continue to provide kenneling for stray animals in Fort St. John and the District of Taylor, process adoptions and provide easy access to community outreach programs such as our pet food bank.” The 7,200-square-foot building is larger than the previous SPCA facility, with two warehouse spaces in the back, one of which will be converted into a large indoor exercise area for dogs. “This will provide a wonderful space for dogs to run and play year-round,” says McBride. “There will also be space for cats, small animals and a large reception area for engagement with members of the public.”
She notes that there is an option to renew the lease for another two years, so the BC SPCA will have a stable community presence while it evaluates long-term options. “As we have said before, we are 100 percent committed to staying in this community with a physical presence, and we are grateful to those who have reached out to us to help us find a long-term solution for our future here.”
The BC SPCA says planning for changes to the building on 89th Avenue to meet the SPCA’s needs will begin immediately and are a priority for the Society. “We will move as quickly as possible to get the building ready and to move all of our animal housing and equipment to the new site,” says McBride. “In the meantime we will continue to work with our partners to ensure animals are safely housed.” She says there will likely be soft opening at the facility as work on the modifications is being completed. “Once the designs have been approved, we’ll be seeking quotes from local contractors to begin work.”
McBride says the BC SPCA is grateful for the community’s patience as the Society searched for a new site. “Finding a facility that met the unique needs of a Community Animal Centre with the limited inventory that was available was a considerable challenge, but we are delighted to finally be able to announce our new home in Fort St. John.”