Local politicians, dignitaries, and animal lovers gathered Friday to celebrate the opening of the new SPCA building in Castlegar.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the $2.6 million facility heralds a new era for the animal-care organization in the region, SPCA officials said.
“We have traditionally provided animal-sheltering roles in the West Kootenay, as well as cruelty investigation,” said Craig Daniell, the CEO of the provincial SPCA. “This new facility really gives us the opportunity to expand our services.”
With state-of-the-art shelter and assessment rooms, quarantine spaces, high-tech temperature and air control, and connected spaces for animals to socialize or run outside, the 4,250-square-foot facility is designed to ensure “the highest levels of health and welfare for dogs, cats, and small animals,” the SPCA says in a news release.
A multi-purpose meeting room will also allow the organization to offer education, advocacy and support programs for animals in the area.
“It’s great, it’s nice to have a brand-new building,” says Rob Lindskog, the branch manager of the SPCA in Castlegar.
The new Castlegar hub replaces an SPCA shelter in Trail. It was built with a land grant from the City of Castlegar, and money from the Province of BC and the Columbia Basin Trust.
“We look forward to all the new opportunities our new centre will bring to help vulnerable animals and to work with our community partners to create a safer and happier life for all animals in the region,” said Daniell.
The hub will employ about five people full and part-time, as well as volunteers, to help the 1,100 or more animals the SPCA cares for each year in the Kootenay region.