The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BC SPCA) unveiled plans for its new West Kootenay Community Animal Centre in Castlegar at a special event on March 21 at the Castlegar Complex.
“We are extremely excited about the new centre and are grateful to the provincial government, the Columbia Basin Trust, the City of Castlegar and all the generous animal lovers who are helping us make this urgently needed facility a reality,” said Craig Daniell, chief executive officer of the BC SPCA.
The BC SPCA, a not-for-profit organization, served nearly 43,000 abused, neglected, abandoned and injured animals last year, including 1,164 from the West Kootenay region.
The new 4,600-square-foot facility, to be located at 124 Heritage Way (west of the airport), will incorporate modern designs to ensure the highest levels of health and welfare for dogs, cats and small animals, as well as designated areas for temperament and behaviour assessments and specialized isolation areas for sick and injured animals.
“The centre will also have a multi-purpose space that can be used for dog training, SPCA youth camps, workshops and other events for the community,” said Daniell.
The new West Kootenay facility is part of the BC SPCA’s eight-year Facilities Development & Services Plan to replace or refurbish aging SPCA facilities in 12 communities at a cost of $54 million. The Province of B.C. has contributed $10 million towards the first two phases of the capital plan so far, $900,000 of which will be used for the West Kootenay centre.
“Abandoned, injured or ill cats, dogs and other small animals will receive excellent levels of comfort and treatment when the new facility opens in Castlegar,” said B.C. Minister of Agriculture Norm Letnick. “As the B.C. government’s partnership with the SPCA continues to grow, so will the respect and welfare for animals in communities around B.C.”
Land for the new SPCA animal centre was donated by the City of Castlegar and the society also received a generous contribution of $250,000 from the Columbia Basin Trust, said Daniell, noting that the SPCA needs to raise an additional $150,000 from community donations to complete the project. Total cost for the new facility is $2 million.
“The BC SPCA provides animal rescue services, education programs, volunteer opportunities, and they help connect pets with people,” said Johnny Strilaeff, president and CEO of the Columbia Basin Trust.
“All of those things speak to the social health of our communities. That’s why we see the tremendous support from individual donors, the city and the province, and why we’re very pleased to be able to be part of this project.”
To learn more about how you can support the new West Kootenay Community Animal Centre, visit spca.bc.ca/westkootenayscares.