New SPCA facility proposed

The goal is to have a new 3,600 square foot, full service community animal centre

The BC SPCA is planning to build a new animal centre in Campbell River.

Craig Daniell, the BC SPCA’s chief executive officer, told city council at its Monday meeting that Campbell River’s current facility is one of 11 the organization plans to replace over the next 10 years.

Daniell said the total cost of the project is $53 million. The BC SPCA has committed to raising half the required funding, with the provincial government chipping in $5 million.

Daniell said in Campbell River, the goal is to have a new 3,600 square foot, full service community animal centre in order to expand its programming.

“We’ve been operating out of a leased facility for the last 20 months or so. While it’s worked really well for us – we’re busy – making a real difference adopting a lot of animals out and taking care of animals, that is really not our long term goal,” Daniell said. “We’re not able right now to have a really strong youth education program.”

Daniell said a larger facility would also help the SPCA better connect with the community. He said for example, in Nanaimo, where a new facility is currently under construction, the SPCA is partnering with a local women’s shelter so that women fleeing from abuse will have somewhere safe to house their pet.

Daniell said the SPCA is estimating it will cost around $1.6 million to construct Campbell River’s new centre, not including land acquisition costs.

“We are well on our way to achieving that particular goal,” Daniell said.

Daniell said the SPCA would be open to a number of different partnering options with the city, including a donation of land, a shared ownership facility model, or a retrofit of an existing building at a reduced cost.

The SPCA would like to have the animal centre up and running within two years time.