With ground set to break on a new Prince Albert SPCA facility this spring, Carol Samuels has been hired to cap off the fundraising New Leash on Life Campaign.
“As we break ground we will start our all-out campaign to finish off,” she said.
“There will be a number of opportunities for people in the community to get involved, both financially by making a donation… and there will be some activities that are going on, as well.”
Hired by the SPCA’s board of directors, Samuels has been mandated with pushing hard during the final leg of fundraising efforts, allowing the SPCA to reach its more than $3 million fundraising goal by the end of the year -- an effort the community has backed over the past four years, bringing it past the half way mark.
The money is being divided between three phases, including the Paw Print Inn Boarding Kennel, the Central Bark off-leash dog park and the upcoming SPCA facility.
With the first two phases already functioning, the new SPCA facility is the only one remaining to be built on the organization’s North Industrial Drive property, with Samuels anticipating that its doors will open next year.
“Our goal is no debt – absolutely,” she said. “We do have a bit of a plan in place, but really, our goal is to raise the additional funds right now so that we can pay for things and away we go.”
In order to make this no-debt facility a reality, Samuels is using her one-year employment contract under the board to encourage the community’s continued support of the SPCA’s fundraising mission.
Those uncertain as to the need for a new SPCA facility should look no further than the current building, at 680 Exhibition Drive, she said.
“That’s a wakeup call -- it really is,” she said. “There’s asbestos in the walls, there’s no air exchange system. It’s not only unhealthy for the animals; it’s unhealthy for staff, too.”
The upcoming animal shelter is by no means extravagant, Samuels said, noting that although it will be larger than the current building, “it really is modest.”
“It’s designed to meet our current needs and built into the future.”
The New Leash on Life Campaign kicked off in 2009, with its first milestone, the Paw Print Inn Boarding Kennel’s grand opening, realized the following year.
This revenue-generating facility was an obvious first step, Samuels said, noting that the long-term goal is for the kennel to supplement the finances of the upcoming animal shelter, making the SPCA less reliant on charitable donations.
The SPCA receives no government funding, she explained, noting that the city’s contributions are fee-for service for the SPCA’s role as municipal poundkeeper.
Looking toward a year of fundraising efforts, Samuels notes a handful of big events on the horizon, including the annual charity golf tournament and rummage sale.
Samuels will also be out in the community quite a bit in her efforts to drum up support from residents and businesses alike. She’ll also be keeping residents updated on New Leash for Life campaign and the new facility’s construction progress.
“I look at it as an investment in your community,” she said of the new building.
“Everybody has a part in the wellness of the community, and this is just another reflection of that wellness – that we’re providing that support and caring for our furry friends, as well.”
With three former rescue dogs at home, Samuels said that she recognizes the importance of the SPCA.
“Providing animals with adequate shelter while they’re waiting for forever homes -- absolutely, it’s a worthwhile endeavour.”
Anyone interested in making a contribution to the campaign or finding out more about its progress can visit the SPCA’s website, at www.princealbertspca.com, or email Samuels at email@example.com.