New SPCA facility all about the pets

Tyler Clarke
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There’s something off about the manager of Duke’s Pet Shop -- a small retail outlet in the new Prince Albert SPCA facility.


For one, he’s only seven years of age, and the fuzzy brown fella’ stands on all fours.

“He’s humbled to be honoured -- to have his name on the pet store,” Duke’s human housemate Dan Troupe said.

Troupe met Duke in mid-2006, when the canine was only about 14 weeks of age.

“I intercepted between his original owner and the SPCA,” Troupe explained.

A dog owner throughout his life, Troupe has become smitten with Duke -- a family member who has inspired him to help out the Prince Albert SPCA in whatever way he can.  

“I’ve always had a dog, always been an animal lover, and I just have a soft spot in my heart for animals, and I just felt it was something that I could support as a volunteer, a member, and now on the board,” he said.

“It’s a needed service in the community to look after the abandoned, neglected animals that show up here for whatever reason.”

Troupe is a testament to the dedication of the organization’s many volunteers. In addition to donating money, he has lent his time toward their efforts.

On Saturday, he manned the popcorn machine at the grand opening celebration of the organization’s new facility on North Industrial Drive.

In recognition of his contributions toward the new facility, Troupe received the honour of having a wing of the building named after him.

Instead, he opted to have the area -- the pet shop -- named after his good friend Duke.

“It’s all about the animals,” he explained.

Now seven years of age, things haven’t always been easy for Duke, whom Troupe describes as being “full of allergies.”

Allergic to foliage, Troupe has to give Duke an injection every 20 days, with a $200 vial of the vaccination lasting about seven weeks.

“That’s the way it is, and you do what you do,” Troupe said. “You do what you can. You love your animal and you look after him, and what else are you going what you can.”

It’s a needed service in the community to look after the abandoned, neglected animals that show up here for whatever reason. Dan Troupe

This frame of thinking expands through the new Prince Albert SPCA facility, which at 12,000 square feet dwarfs the old 3,500-square-foot facility at Exhibition Drive.

“The old facility -- I can’t wait to see the bulldozer go over it,” Coun. Martin Ring said during Saturday’s ribbon cutting ceremony.

Staff, volunteers and pets moved into the facility five weeks ago, with Saturday’s event intended to thank the community for their contributions.

Saturday marked the completion of the five-year three-tiered SPCA renewal project, which in addition to the new SPCA facility included the neighbouring Paw Print Inn Boarding Kennel and the off-leash dog park.

Although the organizations dream of many years has come true, board chair Joleen McCullagh notes that the organization’s staff, volunteers and supporters shouldn’t get too cozy just yet.

“While we’ve accomplished a tremendous goal of building this shelter, that is just one goal in a very big picture,” she said.

“What’s vital now to the organization is the continued day-to-day operations, and we still require the support of the community and our volunteers for that.”

The new facility has a handful of revenue-generating efforts, such as the Paw Print Inn, Duke’s Pet Shop and a crematorium -- efforts that help, but do not offset the added costs associated with the much larger new building.

“It’s a very large building, it’s a large operation, and to accomplish the goals and programming we think is important, we need the funds to do that,” McCullagh said.

“Without that we can’t run the shelter, and the facility isn’t worthwhile.”


Organizations: Paw Print Inn Boarding Kennel, Pet Shop

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