Campbell River okays SPCA location

The SPCA intends to rent space from the Association Francophone de Campbell River

The SPCA is one step closer to securing a new home after getting the seal of approval from council.

Stephanie Arkwright, manager of Campbell River’s SPCA branch, told council at its Tuesday meeting that the SPCA intends to rent space from the Association Francophone de Campbell River, which owns the building at 891 13th Avenue.

“We felt it would not only be a positive relationship between us and the French Association but it would also be the right amount of space that we were hoping to operate out of, which is approximately 1,800 square feet,” Arkwright said. “There are no immediate neighbours other than the French Association and we would have a completely blocked in outside yard. The location is easily accessible; it’s central and would also bring new exposure to this particular area of town.”

The SPCA plans to open an animal adoption and education centre, a smaller-scale model compared to the former animal shelter on Merecroft Road.

Arkwright said similar centres in other B.C. communities have been very successful and have not generated any complaints from outlying businesses.

Arkwright acknowledged that the two biggest concerns with such a facility are cleanliness and noise.

She assured council that SPCA staff and volunteers would clean multiple times a day to eliminate odours and keep the facility sanitary.

As for noise, Arkwright said barking dogs would mostly be kept inside.

“The small number of dogs that will be at the centre will be housed indoors. Dogs outside will be in our enclosed back yard for exercise and socialization as well as bathroom breaks but will be accompanied by staff and volunteers,” Arkwright said. “Our goal is to have dogs that are available for adoption, in foster homes, and have a few dogs at the centre during business hours.

“The primary focus of the centre will be to take in and adopt out cats and kittens and small animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, domestic rats, and a small number of dogs and/or puppies,” Arkwright added. “We will house the animals temporarily until they can be adopted or transferred.”

Council, impressed by the presentation and eager to have the SPCA re-established in the city, passed first and second reading of a bylaw amendment in order to accommodate the SPCA’s re-location, and in doing so triggered a public hearing which will be held in council chambers.