The BC SPCA officially broke ground today for a new large animal seizure facility to temporarily house farm animals rescued from abusive or neglectful situations. The new 2,500-square-foot facility is being constructed adjacent to the existing SPCA shelter at 3785 Casorso Road in Kelowna and will include six indoor-outdoor stalls, a tack room and hay storage area. Construction is expected to be complete by June.
Those attending today’s ground-breaking ceremony included: B.C. Minister of Agriculture Norm Letnick; the Hon. Steve Thomson, MLA for Kelowna-Mission; BC SPCA chief executive officer Craig Daniell; BC SPCA president Marylee Davies; members of the BC SPCA board of directors; Bruce Davies, executive director of the Central Okanagan Foundation; Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran and local councillors; and local SPCA donors, staff and volunteers.
Daniell says the new facility is urgently needed to provide temporary housing for injured and abused farm animals in the region.
“Many people think of companion animals when they think of the BC SPCA’s work, but farm animals represent a significant focus of our organization’s rescue and advocacy work. Last year we took 117 horses and 143 cattle into custody through cruelty investigations and spent in excess of $200,000 for boarding, hauling and other costs associated with their care. Having a facility where we can care for these animals ourselves will make a tremendous difference in terms of cost efficiencies and in the direct care we can provide.”
The new large animal seizure barn is being funded through support from the B.C. government, a grant from the Central Okanagan Foundation and through the generosity of SPCA donors.
“The BC SPCA has launched an eight-year, $50-million capital plan to replace or refurbish SPCA facilities in 10 communities across the province and this is our first ground-breaking under our new capital plan,” says Daniell. “We are truly grateful to all those who have enabled us to provide the best possible shelter for all animals in our care, including farm animals.”
Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick notes that in Balanced Budget 2015, the B.C. government committed $5 million to the BC SPCA to support the replacement or renovation of SPCA facilities, including the new facility in Kelowna. “Animal welfare is a team effort and we look forward to continuing to work with the BC SPCA so all animals in B.C. are treated with the due care and respect they deserve,” he says.
In addition to horses and cattle, the SPCA rescues a wide range of large animals who cannot be housed in traditional shelters, including sheep, goats, pigs, llamas, alpacas and emus.
The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a not-for-profit organization reliant on public donations. Our mission is to protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in B.C.