HUMBOLDT — A major fundraising push by the Humboldt and District SPCA aims to raise enough money for them to build their own purpose-built animal shelter.
“It's always been our main dream to have an actual building,” said Renée McKinnon, the SPCA’s president. “We currently have a rented space that is incredibly inadequate for the proper care of the animals.”
There’s no washing station for the animals, meaning medium and large sized dogs can’t be bathed and small dogs are bathed using Rubbermaid containers. There’s not no onsite laundry facilities, meaning the SPCA has to pay for laundry services elsewhere. There’s no separate entrance for the isolation unit, which means the SPCA has to be extra diligent when new animals come in to avoid the spread of infectious diseases. There’s no storage space.
“We don't have as many kennels as the community needs for the dogs and for the cats,” McKinnon said.
The president said since they rent the space, they are limited to what kind of changes they can make.
“Right now we're doing what we can with what we have, but it is extremely inadequate.”
Early estimates place the construction of a new building at around $1 million. The SPCA has about half of that. A major bequest has helped the SPCA get closer than ever before to make the shelter a reality.
To raise the money, the SPCA has two fundraising heads. One, Sharon Barker, will focus on raising money for the new building, while the other will focus on raising money for the SPCA’s daily operations.
When the SPCA is fundraising, they’ll let people know if they are raising money for the shelter or for day-to-day costs.
“We need to keep it separate accounting-wise and for transparency for anyone who is donating,” McKinnon said.
If people are donating directly to the SPCA, they can also indicate where they want the money to go.
The goal is to raise at least $250,000, though McKinnon said they would like to have more so that they won’t have to pay as much in loan payments when the facility is built.
A GoFundMe page has been created. They are holding a battery drive, where batteries can be dropped off that 1st Stop Auto Parts & Industrial Supply. Over the next six months to a year, the SPCA will be working to get corporate and other major donors.
Draft plans were drawn up for the facility a few years ago, which include more kennels for dogs and cats, laundry facilities, a washing and grooming station, an isolation room with a separate entrance and separate ventilation system, a quarantine for sick animals and a proper reception area.
“There's a lot of things that we're still looking at. It's a long process,” McKinnon said. “We have a building committee in place. Right now they're working on our business plan before we go to the city.”
One of the items the SPCA is hoping to see from the city is a donation of land. When the North East SPCA began plans to build their shelter, the City of Melfort donated the land the shelter now sits on.
McKinnon said the SPCA relies entirely on fundraising and donations, and they hope for the community’s support in making the shelter possible.
“We want to continue to serve our community and others by providing the care needed to those animals that are less fortunate,” she said. “We feel that in order to continue the work that we're doing with our great staff and volunteers, we need to move into our own facility and provide that care for many more years to come.”