Dr. Helen Kwong is all smiles as she reveals the total raised for the SPCA in the community through the Go Loonie campaign.

Campbell River SPCA to open doors by the end of July

Craig Daniell, the SPCA’s CEO, revealed the news to nearly a hundred people at a public meeting

The SPCA will return to Campbell River, the society’s chief executive officer announced to a delighted crowd gathered in the former Movie Gallery building Thursday evening.

Craig Daniell, the SPCA’s CEO, revealed the news to nearly a hundred people at a public meeting in which Daniell praised Campbell River for its passion for animals.

“I’m pleased to announce we will be returning to Campbell River and we will be returning within the next two months,” Daniell said. “If all goes well, we hope to have the doors open by the end of July.”

Daniell said the SPCA is in the process of finalizing a new location. What is certain is that the shelter will run out of a building that the SPCA will lease, likely for two to three years.

Daniell said the SPCA will continue to care for animals, facilitate adoptions, conduct cruelty investigations, continue and increase its educational programs and continue the spaying and neutering program. Daniell said the SPCA hopes to come to an arrangement with Coastal Animal Control, which runs the city’s dog pound, to take in impounded dogs.

Daniell said the SPCA accepts it will more than likely continue to face an operating deficit each year (common with most SPCA shelters) – the SPCA has offered the city $80,000 to run its animal welfare services and Daniell said it costs the SPCA $400,000 to run the shelter each year.

It was that deficit, which was compounded when the city awarded the city’s animal enforcement and pound services contract to Coastal Animal Control, that prompted the SPCA to pull its operations out of Campbell River over the Easter weekend.

But strong opposition by the public and rallies on the lawn of City Hall were enough to make the SPCA take another look and come up with a way to make it work in Campbell River.

Daniell said the SPCA never intended to abandon Campbell River.

“At no time did we even contemplate that we wouldn’t have a presence here,” Daniell said. “We’ve been here for a long time and we hope to be here even longer. We are certainly committed to being in Campbell River.”

Daniell said he was humbled by the support of Campbell Riverites and was overwhelmed by the way the community got behind the Go Loonie to Support the SPCA fundraiser during the month of March.

Dr. Helen Kwong, the driving force behind the fundraising challenge, was on hand at the public meeting to present Daniell with a cheque from the Go Loonie fundraiser. The crowd was silent with anticipation as Kwong, grinning from ear to ear, revealed a large cardboard cheque for $50,000. Dogwood Pet Mart owner Greg Janicki, the top fundraiser at nearly $7,000, was honoured with a carved loonie. An emotional Janicki said the way the community banded together for the SPCA is why he’s proud to live in Campbell River.

The city topped up the community’s donations with $10,000 of its own to fulfil its commitment to match what the community raised, up to a maximum of $10,000.

Daniell said he couldn’t recall ever seeing a community get behind the SPCA the way Campbell River has.

“Firstly, it’s a pretty humbling experience to stand before you this evening and receive a cheque like that which I think represents the incredible passion and dedication the residents of Campbell River have for animal welfare,” Daniell said. “It’s rare to see a community come out to support animal welfare the way Campbell River has done. Thank you doesn’t quite seem enough.”

Daniell said he hopes to see the community continue to rally.

“We are committed to having a staffing group in our new facility but I want to stress the importance of volunteering in any facility we operate in,” Daniell said. “The most important message I’d like to leave with you tonight is to please consider volunteering in a new facility, whether through dog walking, cat or dog fostering, cat cuddling, if you can assist in humane education programs, or if you can assist in driving animals to their vet appointments.”

Daniell also welcomed donations to the SPCA’s Campbell River building fund – money set aside to go towards building a brand-new shelter, owned and operated by the SPCA. The account currently has around $60,000 in it and Daniell said to build a new shelter in Campbell River would cost $2-3 million to build, plus $1.5 million to purchase the land. Anyone who would like to donate to the fund can make a cheque out to Campbell River Building Fund and drop it off at Scotia Bank, where the account is set up. Coun. Andy Adams, who attended last week’s public meeting, suggested the city merge an account former Mayor Roger MacDonell set up to go towards a new shelter with the SPCA’s building fund.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Campbell River RCMP. RCMP photo
Police investigation results in multiple property crime charges

A Campbell River RCMP investigation has lead to multiple property crime charges… Continue reading

Larry Short wanted to find the owner of a 166-year-old Bible found in an old family home, and engaged the Campbell River Genealogy Society to help. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror.
PHOTOS: Genealogy Society tracks down owners of 166-year-old Bible

Bible was found in a farmhouse in Crossfield, Alta., to be sent to new home in Kelowna

A picture of John taken at Children's Hospital Vancouver last week. Photo courtesy, Alicia Sewid.
RCMP investigating after young boy run over by SUV in Campbell River grocery store parking lot

The seven-year-old Campbell River resident has multiple injuries including a broken pelvis and was admitted to Children’s Hospital in Vancouver

The Sayward fire department posted a picture of the clubhouse on the golf course in Sayward that caught fire and burned down during the early hours of Monday morning. (Sayward Volunteer Fire Department/Facebook)
An accidental fire burns down building on Sayward’s golf course

The fire broke out during the early hours of Monday morning said the RCMP

In a statement, BC RCMP’s media relations officer Cpl.Chris Manseau said that even an amount as small as grain of sand could be fatal. (File photo)
Sayward RCMP alerts residents after highly toxic opioid carfentanil found in community

The opioid’s toxicity levels is 100 times more than that of fentanyl

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

The Calgary Zoo is aiding in recovery efforts for the Vancouver Island marmot, an endangered species. Pictured here, a marmot at Mount Washington. (Black Press file)
Despite challenges, 2020 good year for Vancouver Island marmot population

In 2019, the foundation counted 60 pups; this year, it reached 46

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Items seized over four days of targeted vehicle checks Nanaimo and Victoria by members of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. (CFSEU-BC photo)
Gang enforcement team seizes drugs and weapons in Nanaimo and Victoria

Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. checked 33 vehicles over four days

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

The duffel bags were found to contain 84 pounds of cocaine, valued at approximately $1.2 million and 198 pounds of methamphetamine, valued at approximately $960,000. Photo courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
2 men accused of fleeing border agents near U.S.-B.C. border with $2M in drugs

Cocaine and methamphetamine seized by U.S. law enforcement in remote Idaho area near Canadian border

Pixabay photo
‘Horrific’ abuse of volunteers, staff by parents must stop: Chilliwack soccer club

Parents have become abusive after being told COVID-19 rules, email says

FILE – The Queen of Alberni ferry leaves the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal in Delta bound for Vancouver Island, Sunday, July 29, 2007. (CP PHOTO/Richard Lam) CANADA
Mechanical failure leaves nearly 200 passengers stranded on BC Ferries ship for hours

A tug arrived after dark to safely nudge the vessel into a berth so travellers could finally disembark

Most Read