© Herald photo by Tyler Clarke
Prince Albert SPCA assistant manager Leanne Roberts and manager Debbie Lehner, from left, head a media tour of their new building on North Industrial Drive, which is expected to open some time in early 2014.
In an effort to pump up public excitement in advance of a major fundraiser next Thursday, media was given a tour of the new Prince Albert SPCA building on Friday.
Click HERE to view a slideshow of pictures taken during the tour.
Although some imagination has to be employed to visualize what the building will look like once complete, the 12,000-square-foot structure is coming along quickly.
“Right now the electrical is being roughed in, so the next stage will be insulating the exterior walls and start putting the drywall up,” Miller Contracting general manager Dan Yungwirth said.
The building on North Industrial Drive next to the SPCA’s Paw Print Inn boarding kennel is expected to be fully closed-in by snowfall, and everything remains on track for a grand opening as early as the end of February, he said.
With its framework in place, Prince Albert SPCA assistant manager Leanne Roberts described the various ins and outs of the new building, which serves as a significant upgrade from their current 3,500-suqare-foot building on Exhibition Drive.
The new building will provide enough space for the facility to operate more effectively, as evidenced by the current building paling in comparison.
It all begins at the building’s two front doors. The front door to the left opens into the animal intake area and the door to the right opens to the adoption gallery.
“It’ll keep animals from coming into an area where there are healthy adoptable animals,” Lehner explained.
“You don’t know what’s coming in -- if they’re healthy or have diseases or something.”
The intake and adoption areas each have their own laundry washing facilities, prevention a potential spread of disease or of pests such as fleas.
Walking through the adoption area entranceway, Roberts points out a reception area to the left, next to a retail area where all the necessities of pet ownership will be available -- one of a handful of revenue generating efforts intended to make the non-profit organization more financially self-sustaining.
To the right of the entranceway, the building’s western wall is lined with cat-centred facilities, including adoption galleries and cat habitat rooms – homelike environments that will have various climbing structures and toys to keep the felines occupied.
“This whole side is basically cat alley,” Roberts said, noting that large windows will line many of the walls for people to peer in to see how the cats are doing.
Right now the electrical is being roughed in, so the next stage will be insulating the exterior walls and start putting the drywall up. Miller Contracting general manager Dan Yungwirth
Elsewhere, rooms housing cat condos will have 32-inch televisions with a constant stream of Pet Planet or other such animal-centred programming available for cats’ viewing pleasure.
This is a cue from a humane centre in Edmonton, Roberts said, noting that in rooms with televisions and cats in kennels, “there isn’t a peep out of them … It really does reduce their stress levels -- it’s amazing.”
“The cats have really done well in this facility. We really focused on making cats a priority, because many times they’re not.”
Not that the dogs will do poorly at the new facility, she said, citing various dog rooms larger than comparable ones in their current facility, as well as eight fenced off outdoor play areas -- a jump from their current facility’s two.
Dogs will also have a treadmill to keep them active while indoors.
Animal holding rooms make up a portion of the building’s eastern side, allowing the SPCA to hold segregated incoming animals a couple days longer than the three days required by law before they can be adopted out.
“Typically we do a five-day hold because it has happened in the past where somebody’s had a neighbour to look after their dog, and they got out and didn’t report it,” Roberts explained.
The balance of the building is made up of offices, a volunteer room, an after-hours animal drop-off area for bylaw enforcement officers and a crematorium -- another revenue-generating service.
Throughout the building are heated floors and various floor drains that will allow for easier cleanup.
Still shy of their final fundraising goal for the new building, a radio-a-thon fundraiser has been set for Thursday, during which time Prince Albert’s Canadian Tire is matching every dollar donated with $2, up to a maximum of $50,000.
Throughout the event, the SPCA will be pushing kennel sponsorships -- dog kennels costing $1,000 and cat kennels at $500. Plaques will be created for each of the kennels, donning the donor’s name.
The radio-a-thon will take place on Thursday, Oct. 3, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information about the fundraising effort, called “New Leash On Life,” visit the Prince Albert SPCA’s website, online at www.princealbertspca.com.