Congratulations to Debbie Lehner and the entire SPCA family for their big move over the weekend.
It’s not just a big improvement for the animals in their care; it speaks highly of what we value as a community.
We’ll leave it to someone a little smarter and more inspirational to explain why.
“The greatness of a society and its moral progress can be judged by the way it treats its animals,” Mahatma Gandhi once said.
The new 12,000-square-foot building, which is located across the North Saskatchewan River on North Industrial Drive, dwarfs the previous 3,500-square-foot facility.
No longer will the animals have to live in subpar conditions and no longer will Lehner, operations manager Leanne Roberts and the rest of the staff have to hear the horror in people’s voices as they visited the old building.
“We hear comments daily that people don’t want to come to the former shelter where we were at, because they find it depressing,” Lehner told the Daily Herald’s Tyler Clarke on the weekend as they moved their animals into the new location. “It is old and dilapidated and it has served its purpose.
“Now, when they come in, I think we’ve set a really warm environment -- friendly, open and bright for volunteers and donors, staff to work at and just the general public to come in and view the place.”
In fact, every winter cats died due to upper respiratory disease because of poor ventilation in the old building.
The new building officially opens to the public on Tuesday morning at 11.
One of the good news stories here is that the community raised the money to build it rather than going hat in hand to governments to fund it.
People being people, we’ll almost certainly hear the familiar refrain that the city would rather spend the money on animals than disadvantaged people.
It doesn’t follow that if the money hadn’t been spent on the animals, that it would have been spent on the homeless or hungry.
This was a project that struck a chord in the community and prompted everything from garage sales to kids parting with their allowance.
Let’s just be happy that this day has finally come.
• • •
The Daily Herald has lost a fantastic reporter and person with the recent retirement of Dave Leaderhouse.
If you’ve read this paper in the last two-and-a-half years, you’ll know how great a job he’s done in the sporting community in this city.
Dave covered sports that hadn’t seen a reporter in years and helped re-invigorate the proud tradition of journalistic excellence that has been a trademark of the Daily Herald for more than a century.
While Dave will be continuing on with some of his other activities, he will no longer be a regular contributor to the Daily Herald.
Hopefully we can coax a few words out of him every now and then.
Best of luck to one of Prince Albert’s real good guys as he moves into this new chapter of his life.